The Search for the Perfect 9

Originally on Goonersphere.

The weekly shop is stressful enough.

The demands from your family for specific items, the worry when you see they have no stock of a particular item, other shoppers obstructing your passage, or even taking that last jar of Nutella. The weekly visit to the supermarket to load your trolley for the necessities and the treats that get you through the monotony of day to day life is quite simply a chore – and an assault on your sensibilities.

It can only be made worse, when you have successfully packed your car, navigated back home, packed the items in their relevant places, then realised you will have to go back as you’ve forgotten the taco shells – and it’s Mexican night.

If Arsene Wenger fails to address his teams need for a number nine – that feeling will be far worse, and it will be shared amongst millions of other people.

It would seem he is actively searching to fill the void, and all the right noises are being made, but the feeling of deja vu in line with previous summers never quite stops haunting us. We have been linked with approximately three million, four hundred and sixty four thousand, three hundred and eight different strikers – and yet we remain bereft of the perfect number nine.

We have made approaches though. The ill-fated move for perennial Jeremy Kyle guest, Jamie Vardy, was at least a step in the right direction, We had approached a striker who had proven credentials, and was in the prime of his career. With that attempted move, Wenger was buying for the present, not the future.

Alas, when faced with the dilemma of dragging himself away from the local off-license who afford him the luxury of a large tab, Vardy opted to stay as the big fish in a miniature pond, even if that pond sports a fancy Premiership trophy as a fountain…..

We have been linked – repeatedly – for Higuain, but as I type, it has been confirmed that the Argentine will move to Juventus  for a ball-crushing £75m. That figure is preposterous for most players, but for a 28yr old, it means the Old Lady of Turin is essentially paying Napoli the record fee in Serie A for three years of goals. Yes, it will be a lot of goals, but still……

Now, we currently sit at an impasse. The current rumours link us heavily with Alexandre Lacazette, and Wissam Ben Yedder of Toulouse.

So who would be best suited? Let us delve into the stats and try to find the answer.

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Lacazette is the bigger name, and the bigger frame. He stands two inches taller than Ben Yedder, and has scored 66 goals in the last four seasons, from 134 games in Ligue Un. He is lightning quick and is easily adaptable in the air and to feet. He has also been fully capped for France, as opposed to Ben Yedder, who still awaits his first.  The only question mark is his injury record, which isn’t quite on the level of Jack Wilshere, but a stringent fitness test would be necessary.

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Ben Yedder is a little shorter, but has scored four more goals in four seasons in Ligue Un. He has played for Toulouse for six seasons now, and question marks must remain as to why he is still at a relatively small club. Whilst Lacazette is still at Lyon, at least he can say he has competed in Europe. Plying his trade for Toulouse means Ben Yedder has never had the opportunity to lock horns with the cream of Europe’s defenders.

However, to thicken the broth a little, scoring that impressive amount of goals whilst playing in an inferior side is more kudos points to Ben Yedder. Also, a little known fact that adds more lustre to Ben Yedder, is that he has played for France’s Futsal side, which means the Frenchman has excellent close control. Something which would put him in good stead alongside Giroud and his flick-ons…..

Ben Yedder has one year left on his deal, and would cost veritable peanuts compared to Lacazette. Of course, this is all pointless, as all we have is rumours, smoke and an impressive array of mirrors when it comes to finding the truth in all of this.

It now looks as though Ben Yedder is off to La Liga, and another target bites the dust. Were we ever in for him? Who knows, but with scrutiny, he would’ve been a great fit for our side.

So, to surmise, both strikers would be great, but we probably won’t buy either. Or both. I don’t know anymore. This infernal window is frying my brain………..

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