Even though the window is closed, that doesn’t mean an end to the nonsense.
One player who has been linked with Arsenal on and off for the past few windows is Shakhtar Donetsk’s Luiz Adriano, the Brazilian striker. Tottenham and Liverpool have also been mentioned as possible destinations for the player as publications try to maximise exposure for a story that isn’t really going to go anywhere.
Given the issues in Ukraine, and the fact that Shakhtar haven’t played at the Donbass Arena since May due to the political ‘problems‘ in the region, it has been easy to link a number of their players with a move away – after all, why would a player, especially a foreign one, want to stay somewhere that is seen by those on the outside as being dangerous?
The reports of South Americans refusing to return to the Ukraine after a training trip in July helped generate more rumours, even about players who didn’t have such concerns ( if they did, they kept them to themselves). At the time, Shakhtar’s coach, Mircea Lucescu, claimed it was more about securing a transfer than any genuine fears for their safety.
Scoring nine goals in five games, despite their nomadic existence at present, it does not seem as though Adriano is suffering from any emotional strains unlike his compatriot, Bernard, who has recently said he would not recommended that any other Brazilians join him at the club.
Speaking recently, the player has tried to put an end to speculation but his comments, while well-intentioned, are unlikely to do that as the first part of his statement leaves it open enough for the media to continue.
“It would be nice to have a new challenge but it would be even nicer to stay in Ukraine, at the club that I love.”
He is, of course, not the first striker to be linked with Arsenal, Edinson Cavani allegedly the target of a £50m bid from the Gunners, as is Palermo’s Paulo Dybala as the Gunners get ready to spend every penny they have on strikers if you believe the media.
So will Arsenal be buying a striker in the summer?
It is a possibility but it is unlikely to be a major player.
With Olivier Giroud flowering, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck already at the club and Yaya Sanogo to return, a player who may not be ready but will not be discarded just yet, it’s hard to see Arsene Wenger bringing in a big name.
Add to the list Lukas Podolski who is already trying to lay the ground for an Arsenal return after it became clear that he won’t be signed permanently by Inter Milan and Joel Campbell who signed a new deal before being shipped off to Villarreal as a make-weight in the Gabriel deal and you have a lot of strikers to be dealing with.
Those two could be sold, but are Arsenal really going to replace a Podolski or Campbell with an Adriano or Cavani?
And none of that even takes Chuba Akpom into consideration who has also just signed a new deal after turning down offers from other clubs.