Comparing Arsenal's striker targets

Comparing Arsenal's striker targets

The topic of the striker position has been a big talking point at Arsenal ever since Robin Van Persie left the club in 2012.  Olivier Giroud came in to replace the Dutchman and he has split the opinions of not only the Arsenal fan base, but most Premier League fans.  The Frenchman had a very good season after returning from his injury, but some people, including Arsenal legend turned Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry, think that Arsenal need another striker.

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Olivier Giroud proved that he is capable of scoring goals week in week out this season, but Arsenal’s strength in depth might not be what they need to win the title.  Giroud is very good, but he does go through dry patches every once and a while, and if he were to get hurt, Danny Welbeck hasn’t shown that he would be capable of stepping in and scoring week in week out.  So, Arsenal have been linked to a number of strikers.  Three that they have been linked with are Gonzalo Higuain and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.  The transfer window is an interesting time where plenty of names are thrown around, so the real question is which of these strikers would be the best for Arsenal.

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Higuain scored more goals per 90 minutes and completed more take ons than the Gabon international.  Aubamyang has got more of his shots on target and completed take ons at a higher rate than the Argentine and the two both converted the same percentage of their chances.  The statistical comparison is very close between the two.  Looking at past years, Higuain’s record has been very good.  Over the past seven years the 27 year old has scored 164 goals in 309 games, which averages out to be a goal every 1.88 games.  Over the last four years Aubameyang has scored 82 goals in 191 games, or a goal every 2.33 games.  Higuain’s goal scoring record has been better, but it is still a pretty close comparison.

Since the statistical comparison is so close, you then have to look at the style of each striker.  Aubamyang is one of the quickest players in world football.  He is similar to Theo Walcott in the sense that he often looks to get in behind the defense, but he is more physically built to be a striker than the Englishman.  He is 6’1 and stronger than Walcott, which gives him the ability to hold the ball up more.  He also has versatility and can play wide left and wide right.  Higuain is more of a traditional striker.  He’s quicker than say Giroud, but he doesn’t have breakneck speed like an Aubameyang.  He can hold the ball up, works to knit the play together, and is a clinical finisher.

If Walcott was to leave Arsenal, Aubameyang would give the gunners an element they don’t have.  If the Englishman does stay, then Aubameyang won’t have that advantage, but still could be useful.  Higuain is a proven goalscorer.  He’ll score goals, work for the team, and he could make the difference by finishing the chances that Arsenal’s strikers usually miss.  If Arsenal sign either of these two strikers, they’ll make an improvement to their squad.