Arsenal: What January business do they need to do?
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa is set to begin the process of finding a new suitor ahead of the January transfer window. The 32-year-old was released from his contract at Atletico Madrid on Tuesday following a period of speculation regarding his future at the club.
Arsenal have reportedly been tracking Costa’s situation in the Spanish capital with a view to securing his signature for free in January.
If the club’s transfer chief Edu can tempt the striker into joining, it could turn out to be a massive coup as under-fire boss Mikel Arteta looks to save his side’s season.
The Gunners, who are currently occupying 15th place in the Premier League table, have been utterly toothless in attack for large parts of the campaign.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was expected to continue providing his side’s goals this season, but the Gabon international has struggled to do so, managing to find the net just three times in 13 top flight appearances.
Arteta would have been hoping for Aubameyang’s team-mates to step up to the place in the absence of his usual form, but this has not been the case.
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Alexandre Lacazette is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with a modest four goals, while wingers Willian and Nicolas Pepe, who have featured heavily on the flanks this season, have scored just twice between them.
Costa’s signing would add a proven goal threat to the Arsenal side, with the Brazilian-born Spain international knowing all too well where the back of the net is.
Despite his issues at Atletico this season, he was averaging just over a goal a game in La Liga with two in 204 minutes, demonstrating that he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level.
He also offers Premier League title-winning experience, lifting the famous trophy twice while at Chelsea in 2015 and 2017.
Only two of Arsenal’s current crop – Costa’s former teammates Willian and David Luiz – have won England’s top flight during their careers.
The striker’s vast experience, along with his proven ability in front of goal, would make him an excellent mentor for the likes of England under-21 record goalscorer Eddie Nketiah, the exciting Gabriel Martinelli and young prospect Nikolaj Moller, should the Swedish teenager receive a first-team call up in the near future.
Another attribute that Costa would bring to the table, his ability to get into the heads of opponents, could be just what Arsenal need right now.
Theo Walcott revealed earlier this month that he felt ‘a lot of fear’ from the Gunners after he helped Everton to a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Costa has the potential to rectify this, with his presence on the pitch carrying the potential to make opposing defenders feel uneasy right from the off.
Additionally, his knack of successfully getting them booked or dismissed could prove to be crucial for Arsenal as they prepare to fight for every point between now and the end of the season.
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