Arsenal

Arsenal dealt transfer blow as Mikel Arteta states preference amid Luka Jovic links

It may not seem like it now, but centre forward may soon be something of a problem position for Arsenal.

While Mikel Arteta currently has five options to choose from in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Folarin Balogun, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette  understandst the latter pair are set to leave the Emirates when their contracts expire in the summer, while Balogun and Martinelli have just three Premier League starts between them this season.

This means that come the beginning of next campaign Aubameyang could be the Gunners’ only senior striker.

Initial reports suggested that they could be targeting Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic as someone to fix this issue, but after those were largely debunked, new links have implied they could begin looking elsewhere.

Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic is the name doing the rounds at the minute, after reports emerged that he could be allowed to leave the Bernabeu this January despite having over four years left on his deal.

This is largely due to the fact that he has found game time hard to come by under both Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti. This season he has managed just 95 minutes in all competitions.

Despite his struggles in Spain, those who watched the Serbian in his time at Eintracht Frankfurt will be all too aware of the elite potential that he has.

A 27 goal season in Germany was what got him his move to Real in the first place and many are hoping Arteta can be the man to revive his stagnating career.

On the face of it Jovic has some of the qualities that the Arsenal boss admires in a centre forward.

Aside from an obvious knack for being able to put the ball in the net, the 23-year-old is a decent passer of the ball who ranks in the 85th percentile for progressive passing distance among strikers in Europe’s top leagues over the past year (86.30 yards per 90). He is also up in the 94th percentile for passes into the final third.

 

Given that Arteta values number nines who can drop slightly deeper and be good enough in possession to link with other teammates it would seem the Serbian can tick a few boxes.

However, the main issue when it comes to Jovic that the Spaniard could be turned off by is his work rate.

Arteta wants a forward capable of working hard to win the ball back who sets the tone for the press. We’ve seen this in how he has favoured Aubameyang and Lacazette in recent matches in no small part down to the work they do off the ball.

Jovic is not the man for that job.