When you look at the Arsenal team, there are a few areas where the Gunners lack a truly top class option.
The team could do with another wide player and a real controlling midfielder, someone to set tempo in the middle of the park. The addition of Petr Čech last summer means no doubts reside between the posts anymore. And what about up front?
Olivier Giroud is very good, let’s get that straight. The Frenchman has improved each year in north London, learning how best to use his traits to get the best from his team-mates. He’s also become a much more confident finisher, shrugging off the idea that he can’t score when the pressure’s on over the last year. However, he’ll never be the sort of player to terrify defences with a bit of skill or acceleration, creating space for himself and finishing half chances.
But Daniel Sturridge is that.
The Birmingham-born striker has only managed 349 minutes on the pitch this season (scoring four times, in typical fashion) and there are rumours circulating that, after 18 months of waiting for him to be fully fit, Liverpool could finally be prepared to cut their losses. There are doubts that he will ever truly overcome his struggles, but is he worth the risk?
He absolutely is. Arsenal fans know all too well what it’s like to have a perennially injured star striker with the potential to be world class. The longest Dutchman Robin van Persie ever played to the best of his ability, unhindered by injury troubles, was about 30 months. In that time (from the start of the 2010/11 season to the end of the 2012/13 season) he scored 89 goals in 129 appearances for Arsenal and Manchester United. He was the best player in England, he carried us and then went to Old Trafford and won the title for them. Daniel Sturridge isn’t far off being that good.
When van Persie finally found fitness, he was about a year older than Sturridge is. It might cost £20m, maybe even more, but Liverpool may just be tempted to sell a player who – right now – doesn’t look like he’ll ever be fully fit again. Capable of playing on the wings, incredibly skilful and an amazing finisher, Sturridge is worth the risk. He could be Arsenal’s missing piece, so why not go for it?