With the news that Arsenal are letting Danny Welbeck leave this summer, the Gunners are in need of a third-choice striker, and they could look to the free transfer market to save money.

Arsenal v Brentford - Carabao Cup Third Round
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal celebrates after he scores his sides second goal during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Brentford at Emirates Stadium on September 26, 2018, in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Unai Emery’s side needs investment in a number of areas, which is why it’s difficult to imagine the club spending heavily on another striker. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have performed perfectly capably this season, racking up 44 goals and 17 assists combined, so a backup plan B option is all they need to add.

As a result, it may be worth looking at players who are out of contract this summer.

Olivier Giroud is currently set to leave Chelsea this summer, but Maurizio Sarri has already suggested they’ll extend the striker’s deal, and it doesn’t seem likely he’d return to Arsenal anyway. He left in search of game time and won’t find any more with the Gunners than he’s getting at Stamford Bridge.

Andy Carroll is also running his deal down, but he’s currently injured and hasn’t scored a league goal since April 2018.

There are two more realistic options though:

Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (L) vies for the ball with Porto's Algerian midfielder Yacine Brahimi (R) during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg football match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on April 9, 2019. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP / Getty Images)
Liverpool’s English striker Daniel Sturridge (L) vies for the ball with Porto’s Algerian midfielder Yacine Brahimi (R) during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg football match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on April 9, 2019. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP / Getty Images)

Sturridge is out of contract with Liverpool after managing to remain fit all season but barely getting a chance anyway. The 29-year-old striker has made eight starts, scoring four goals and assisting two. That includes two goals against Chelsea and one against PSG.

Perhaps most importantly, Sturridge has proved himself an aerial threat in recent seasons, scoring 30% of his goals with his head in the PL and Europe since the start of the 2015/16 season. That’s something Lacazette and Aubameyang lack, so he’d make a good option to change games late on.

Mario Balotelli

Olympique de Marseille's newly recruited Italian forward Mario Balotelli (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by the club's president Jacques Henry Eyraud (R) and sport director Andoni Zubizareta (L) on January 23, 2019 at the Robert-Louis Dreyfus stadium in the southern port city of Marseille. (Photo by Boris HORVAT / AFP)
Olympique de Marseille’s newly recruited Italian forward Mario Balotelli (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by the club’s president Jacques Henry Eyraud (R) and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta (L) on January 23, 2019, at the Robert-Louis Dreyfus stadium in the southern port city of Marseille. (Photo by Boris HORVAT / AFP)

Balotelli is a player with Premier League experience who is also in great form at the moment. After falling out with Nice, the striker moved to Marseille in January, and he’s scored eight goals in 12 games since then. The 28-year-old was only on a short-term deal though, so he’s out of contract again this summer.

There are always questions over Balotelli’s discipline and temperament, but he knows how to score goals. Like Sturridge, he’s good in the air, scoring three of those eight goals for Marseille with his head.

Of course, the alternative is that Arsenal simply promote some of their talented youth players. Assuming Eddie Nketiah goes on loan, Tyreece John-Jules is looking increasingly ready for more first-team opportunities. We’ll see what Unai Emery decides this summer.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.