Arsenal

How Declan Rice is helping Edu find Arsenal dream striker but could delay big move until 2025

Declan Rice offers up perfect transfer template for Arsenal as sporting director Edu must wait for dream centre-forward

The desire for Arsenal to sign a striker in the summer is one that, until recently, had been growing exponentially throughout the first half of the season. Despite the odd big win here and there with results at Bournemouth, at home to PSV and Lens and at home to Sheffield United the club were facing questions over their goalscoring.

The natural reaction is the hope a striker might come in and names like Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen have naturally surfaced as potential candidates. However, the landscape has since changed and in the six league games of 2024, the Gunners have scored 25 goals including a 3-1 win over title challengers Liverpool.

In the six games, Mikel Arteta has used three different centre forwards: Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus who have all scored and provided assists. That said, there remains a feeling that to challenge more efficiently a striker is indeed still needed, at the very minimum to improve the depth of quality and variation in options that upgrade on the likes of Eddie Nketiah

Arsenal had the same issue but with the midfield in the summer window. Despite the presence of Thomas Partey, the Ghanaian’s injury record – which has resurfaced in its worse state this season – and Mikel Arteta’s desire to further improve the options in such a key part of the midfield led to the arrival of record signing Declan Rice.

The West Ham United and England international had been on the radar for some time and stood out alongside Moises Caicedo as the two key players that were desired by the club. Rice brought with him a big price tag, more than £100million, but the club were certain that the investment would bring guaranteed success and little risk, unlike some other huge deals in the league for the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk, Antony and Enzo Fernandez.

Rice was proven and despite his sub-25 age, he was extremely experienced in the Premier League and a European winner following the Europa Conference League success last year. The problem is however a similar striker transfer candidate does not exist.

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