Arsenal: A solution for every possible striker situation this summer

Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal, Eddie Nketiah
Arsenal, Eddie Nketiah (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

Worst Case Scenario: We only sell Eddie Nketiah

It honestly doesn’t bear repeating. The possibility of keeping all of our aging talent, and selling the future of the strikeforce is a terrible thought, and it won’t happen. But we need to prepare for the opportunity that somebody with deep pockets comes calling.

Luckily, we have one solution ready-made. Gabriel Martinelli is waiting in the wings, and would flourish at the opportunity to play in the number 9 role. The Brazilian’s electric pace, fervent pressing, and instinctual finishing would make him an ideal partner, and eventually successor to Eddie Nketiah, and he deserves to be a number 9 regardless.

Relying on Martinelli would also ensure that whatever sum we get for the sale of Eddie would be put into other transfers, such as an extended deal for Thomas Partey, or potentially Luka Jovic or Dayot Upamecano, both of whom have low price tags considering their ability.

But if a purchase is deemed necessary, then look no further than RB Salzburg’s Patson Daka. The 21-year-old has 27 goals in 45 appearances this season, including one in the UCL group stages. He averages a goal every 100 minutes, better than any Arsenal player, and while the difference in quality between the Premier League and Austrian Bundesliga is significant, RB Salzburg have not lost a game in which Daka has scored all season, a telling statistic.

Standing at a hair over 6’0″, the Zambian international possesses a lethal right foot, and is very hard to dispossess—about 0.5 times per game in Europe this season. His best trait is his blistering speed, and he is at his best when he is able to take a touch into space, accelerate around a defender, and slot the ball into the bottom corner.

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Even greater possibly than his skill on the ball is his skill off of it. A willing and aggressive defender, Daka leads Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch’s high-pressing system, a task which the Zambian undergoes with gusto. His workrate, stamina, natural fitness, and determination should all be applauded. He’s also one of the most fouled players in the Salzburg squad, a tribute to his lightning-quick pace and reflexes.

That’s not to say there aren’t issues. His first touch can be loose, and while he usually has the speed to make it up, holdup play is not a particular strength of his. He also could serve to work on his positioning, as he has a penchant to stray offsides during extended spells of possession. He’s naturally athletic, but can get his feet tangled while under pressure. However, at only 21, those wrinkles can be ironed out, and Daka is a fantastic prospect for the future.

Onto the second scenario, which is slightly more palatable, but only slightly.