Transfer rumours: Fernando Llorente, Stevan Jovetic, Robert Lewandowski, Seydou Doumbia
One of the many rumours spiralling around the newspapers and the internet: Fernando Llorente to Arsenal.
Llorente scored 28 goals in all competitions for Athletic Bilbao. I shouldn’t have to tell you that’s pretty impressive, especially when playing in Spain for a club of that stature.
And at 6’5″, he has the physicality to play in the Premier League – no doubt about that. What makes him such a good striker, is his killer instinct. He knows where to be to get the goals, and with his height, the goals scored by his head come easily. And as Manchester United found out in the Europa League last season, Llorente is not bad with his feet either. But his strength is admirable, he can literally bulldoze past defenders, especially in the air.
His one weakness, is that if you don’t give him service, he’s very unlikely to produce anything special and is thus, rendered useless. He’s not the quickest man on Earth, he’s not got the greatest ball control or dribbling ability and he hasn’t got the highest work-rate you’ll ever see but he scored 28 goals last season for a reason, he’s deadly in the box and his link-up play is actually quite good.
But, according to what I’ve heard, he has a £28 million release clause. Unless Bilbao are willing to negotiate a price way under that, Arsenal aren’t going to pay that sort of money for a 27 year old.
Another rumour floating around is Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal. He’s 22 and tipped for big things, even being compared to Roberto Baggio on a few occasions. And watching him, you can see why.
Jovetic has got fantastic flair, brilliant ball control and dribbling skills combined with great creativity and ability. Jovetic is not so much an out and out striker but more of a number 10. Impressively, Jovetic is a decent finisher and has the tendency to score the odd goal of great quality and is truly two-footed.
On the bad side, Jovetic’s youth could be a problem. He’s still in development and could easily come to England and fail. Miserably, at that. The one thing I have with him is that even at 6′, he’s not very good in the air and could be better. He’s also not the fastest.
On the key problem: his price. Fiorentina apparently estimate him at €30 million. That’s a hefty price tag and one which I doubt Arsenal are going to pay.
Same height as Jovetic but different kind of player, Lewandowski has been talked about in the columns as another potential replacement for Robin van Persie. At 23, Lewandowski had an absolutely phenomenal season for Borussia Dortmund last year, scoring 29 goals for them.
Lewandowski is more of a complete striker for me. He scores all types of goals in the box, and he’s both strong in the air and good at finishing with the feet. Very often last season for Dortmund, he was in the right place at the right time and very clinical with his shooting. More so than the other two names above, I believe Lewandowski works very hard off the ball and that led to him taking part in a few goals from the counter-attack last season.
Incredibly, for me, Lewandowski is not so good at holding the ball despite his height and strength in the air. Another key thing is how his passing lets him down, and at Arsenal, you need to be at least half decent at passing.
According to rumours, Lewandowski is likely to cost upwards of £20 million. A half-decent price when you come to think of it, but once again, I don’t know how likely we are to spend that kind of money.
Another transfer target according to the papers is Seydou Doumbia.
Seydou Doumbia is 24, and at 5’10” tall, he’s the shortest of the names on discussion here. Doumbia scored 37 goals for CSKA Moscow last season, a hefty total. Doumbia is a complete powerhouse. He’s got a ridiculous combination of pace, strength, and dribbling ability all-in-one. Defenders find it hard to get the ball of him, considering his strength, and he’s got pace to burn and he’s very good in the air. He’s quite literally a defenders nightmare.
As for weaknesses, Doumbia is not a man with many weaknesses. From what I’ve seen by watching him, he’s at least decent with most aspects of his game. He works hard to get into the box, he’s brutish and he doesn’t seem to give up.
As for price tags, I’ve heard everything in the range of £15 million up to £26 million. Interesting figures, all in all.
Will any of these strikers be signed by Arsenal? That’s the real question. I have no idea, you never know what goes on with the clubs transfers, and you never know what will happen next in the transfer window. The biggest thing for me is, with the acquisitions of Giroud and Podolski already made, does Arsene Wenger want to make any more moves for strikers?
Any way, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy your weekends. Feel free to leave comments below with your thoughts and you can follow me on twitter @reece_sim.