3 reasons why Victor Osimhen is not the answer for Arsenal

Arsenal are reportedly eyeing Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen to solve their striking woes, but all is not what meets the eye. Here are the three reasons why Asenal should not sign the Nigerian striker.

Reported Arsenal transfer target Victor Osimhen while playing for Napoli
Reported Arsenal transfer target Victor Osimhen while playing for Napoli / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages
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Despite his extraordinary numbers for Napoli, Victor Osimhen would not be the answer for Arsenal's attack.

Virtually every top team across Europe, and also some in the ever-expanding Saudi Pro League, have been linked with big-money moves for Osimhen in the last few months. Recent reports suggest that Arsenal are now also firmly in the race for the 24-year-old, with Mikel Arteta seemingly identifying the striker as his number-one target for future windows.

While the Gunners may well be crying out for a star striker to complete their squad, and Osimhen has shown himself to be a prolific goalscorer, there are several reasons that, for me, point towards the Nigerian ace not being the answer for Arsenal.

It might sound absurd to not want a striker who has scored 46 goals in his last 68 Serie A games, but if you hear my reasoning, I am confident that you will understand my view, and perhaps even agree with me.


1. Reliability is key, but Osimhen does not guarantee that

Victor Osimhen
Osimhen has a poor injury record in Naples / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

While Gabriel Jesus is not exactly a goal-scoring machine, the over-arching issue for the Brazilian is his inconsistent availability - largely down to his poor injury record.

So while Osimhen may be an upgrade overall on Jesus, is he really an improvement on the issues that Arsenal currently have with their striking options?

The short answer is: no, he is not.

Since the start of the 2020/21 season, he has missed a staggering 58 games for club and country through injury and, occasionally, illness. During this time, he has also seen a notable, and worrying, increase in the number of injuries that he is picking up - as well as some possibly recurring issues, though it is difficult to know for sure.

It is also worth noting, though it is not his fault, that as a Nigerian national team player, he is highly likely to miss lengthy parts of the season every two years due to his inevitable participation in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Without wanting to criticise the competition or Osimhen's commitment to his national team (which is absolutely not my aim), losing your star striker for upwards of two months every two seasons is not ideal, especially when coupled with his general injury concerns.


2. Is the price right?

Victor Osimhen
Napoli would demand a monster fee for their striker / Emilio Andreoli/GettyImages

It has been reported by several reliable outlets that Napoli will demand a fee in excess of £100m - which is just shy of the £105m club-record fee that the Gunners paid for Declan Rice last summer.

So while Arsenal have spent this sort of money on a single player before, that does not necessarily mean that it makes sense to, or that they even can, do it again next summer.

We saw from Arsenal's negotiations with Brentford for David Raya that Arsenal need to be careful of financial fair play (FFP), which was the reason behind making the deal a loan with an option to buy.

And even if the club can stretch our finances to afford the deal, it would almost certainly represent our only major signing of the transfer window - when going with an alternative option could free up funds to invest elsewhere in the squad.

Personally, I would rather see us spend slightly less on a striker if it allows us to also sign a right winger to offer rotation for Bukayo Saka, or a solid third-choice centre-back to be backup in case of injury to William Saliba or Gabriel.

So in short, my point is not that Osimhen is not worth the rumoured £100m+ price tag that he will command, but more so that it would be an unwise investment given our club's current situation.


3. We should be targeting a different profile

Ivan Toney
Would Ivan Toney be more suitable for the Gunners? / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

In Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal have two strikers with very different profiles. The former often drops deeper and is usually more involved in build-up play than goalscoring, while Nketiah plays in a comparable, though lower-standard, way to Osimhen.

With that in mind, I do not feel as though Osimhen provides a different option for us to utilise and, while he would definitely be an upgrade on our current options - I would rather see us target somebody along the lines of Ivan Toney, who would be a huge physical presence for the side, and capable of bullying defenders.


Summary

Once again, I cannot reiterate enough that my desire to pursue alternative options instead of Osimhen is not because I cannot see and admire his ability, but more so the aforementioned issues that I feel need to also be factored into consideration.

I would obviously be delighted to see us sign the Nigerian striker, and elatedly cheer every goal that he scores, but just feel as though there are more sensible, and logical, options out there even if, on paper, they are not as eye-catching.