Arsenal's Striker Solution?

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Good day all, been quite a while since my last post here. I just have been a bit busy doing stuff. Quite painfully, I had to leave out my love (writing) from my somewhat tight schedule. All the same, am back now and would love to jump right back in.

Well, Arsenal rumors doing the rounds lately have all, in one way or another, linked the north London club to players in the transfer market,obviously owing to the recent outcry by the fans for urgent recruitment in certain departments of the squad. With the forward and defensive roles particularly the major concern, and the coach publicly claiming that  at least ‘one or two’ purchases are still on the cards, one can only imagine the extent of transfer rumors that will continue to linger around the club until the end of the summer transfer window.

This piece however, is based on something slightly deviated from the usual transfer gossips. I know not many arsenal fans are interested in the internally grown players anymore. As a matter of fact, I think one of the traditional elements constituting the recipe for arsenal’s exciting pattern of following the game which is its interest in its youngsters is actually dwindling in the hearts of some fans, and who could blame them? After all, the main aim of the game for most fans is to be part of - and to support - the success of their teams,which hasn't really been a strong point for the Gunners since the epoch of the invisibles (except if one were to consider winning the F.A Cup as a huge success for a team like Arsenal). Notwithstanding, it is my opinion that despite the cries by fans for a major success, an intrinsic aspect of the club's culture (its youngsters and academy) shouldn't be forgotten.

For what it is worth, the Arsenal football academy has seen the developments of a few good players breaking out from the youth ranks into the senior squad in the blink of an eye and making serious impact, with the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Bellerin and more recently Iwobi  all making headway. Although a major chunk of these academy products can also be said to have been failures in the game, one cannot deny the prospects of making good first-teamers and future club heroes out of the bunch.

A major concern for the gunners this summer as well as every other summer since Van Persie's heart-smashing departure has been the striking position, and although the manager has promised to do something about it, fans and football pundits alike are gradually growing skeptical about the Frenchman's desire to fulfill his promise as this has been the case for several seasons now. However, it is quite obvious that, pending the end of of the transfer market, fans will still hope to see a top class forward leading the line or at least giving Giroud a tough fight for the starting berth this season.  Of course, like every other Arsenal supporter I am desirous of this, and I think anything short of top quality would be damning to the Gunners’ campaign come August. But, taking the Japanese case of Takuma Asano into perspective, I have had to question Wenger’s plans. I for one believe we have enough of his ‘kind’ at our disposal (and by kind I mean qualities). A name that comes to mind in this situation is Chuba Akpom—a promising and quite talented young lad—who although still has a long way to go and sadly didn’t have the best outing on loan, is a rather better option than spending even a small fee on some youngster from far Asia (with all due respect to the new signee). And by the way who is to say Akpom can’t do-a-coq. Point being made is: I don’t see why Wenger decided to buy someone whose qualities he seems to possess internally, he should rather focus on getting just the top quality players which are required in the team. Another good thing is the fact that Akpom offers a different approach —pacy and smart— to the game as compared to Olivier.

Akpom training hard for the pre-season, and prayerfully hoping its not just pre-season
I would like to think that, despite the urgent need for top-quality reinforcements in the forward and defensive departments of the team, the recent trend of a youngster or youngsters—hoping they are more than one this year— breaking into the senior team every year continues and I wouldn’t be surprised if that player, this time around is Akpom. This, I believe, will only be achieved by creating a squad structured in such a way  as to allow a proper conflate of internally grown talents and top quality talents as well, not some more mediocre performers or one-offs. I still believe the manager has plans of utilizing Chuba though, and definitely the pre-season matches will be used to evaluate his readiness to work at the top level. I just hope he grabs the opportunity this time with both hands, as he seems promising and may provide a good backup plan for whomever the manager gets in as well as Giroud.

Gooners what are your thoughts?

Chimezie Azih

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