Arsenal could have a guaranteed method to sign Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak if they are forced to revert to Plan B towards the end of the January transfer window. Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic appears to be the Gunners’ top target up front, but the deal has so far failed to progress.
The Gunners’ need for extra potency in attack was highlighted against Burnley on Sunday.
Despite registering 20 shots in the game, the Premier League’s bottom side held on for a 0-0 draw at the Emirates, which came as a blow to Arsenal’s top-four hopes.
Mikel Arteta needs no extra incentive to recruit a striker this January, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both into the final six months of their respective contracts.
Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang’s seemingly inevitable exit would also give Arteta and transfer chief Edu extra urgency between now and next Monday’s deadline.
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Recruiting a striker this month is essential for Arteta, not just to boost the club’s top four hopes, but to avoid facing the same demanding task in a crowded summer market.
Although Isak’s release clause is a hefty one, Arsenal at least know that if all else fails, they could have their hands on one of Europe’s best young strikers if they are willing to stump up the cash.
And while losing out on Vlahovic would be a crushing blow given his rampant scoring record and seemingly decent value at around £60m, a deal for Isak would at least be in the same financial ballpark.
The Swede’s La Liga scoring record has dropped off somewhat this season with just four goals so far, after hitting a combined 26 in his previous two campaigns.
But his all-round game still offers plenty to get excited about, with quick feet and an eye for the creative, despite standing at 6ft 4in.
Furthermore, Isak has scored goals in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and internationally, despite turning 22 as recently as September.
Shelling out the extra money for a player who seemingly began the window as their second choice, and ultimately cannot match the current form of their first choice, would undoubtedly be a bitter pill to swallow for the Gunners.
But a release clause would at least allow them a ‘get out of jail free’ card if time gets tight towards the end of the month.