Arsenal

Edu’s £55m ‘approach’ hints that Mikel Arteta has identified Alexandre Lacazette replacement

Arsenal are on the lookout for new strikers this summer and one may have already been identified.

You can never guarantee anything in football, especially when it comes to signing players during a transfer window. However, bringing in a new striker almost seems like a definite for Arsenal this summer as the club looks to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Additionally, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are, as it stands, also set to depart once their contracts expire at the end of the season.

With Folarin Balogun potentially ending up as the only first-team striker in the squad, technical director Edu has possibly hinted at one of the forwards Mikel Arteta intends to secure.

Spanish newspaper Marca report that Arsenal made an approach for Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic in January, with the player fed up and likely to leave in the coming months. Everton, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund are said to be amongst a host of clubs also showing interest.

The Serbian international joined Los Blancos in 2019 for a fee believed to be in the region of £55m following an impressive campaign with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring 27 times and providing 7 assists in 48 appearances.

Jovic arrived at Madrid as one of the most highly-rated young forwards in Europe but has failed to reach anywhere near previous heights since.

Despite making 27 appearances during his debut season, the 24-year-old only managed to net two goals. A lack of game time last year saw him return to Frankfurt on loan, yet the struggles continued and he finished the campaign with just four goals to his name.

This season hasn’t been any different and competing with someone like Karim Benzema certainly doesn’t help matters. Jovic has not started a single La Liga match so far, coming off the bench 13 times and not appearing at all on 11 occasions.

In what is clearly an unhealthy situation for the player, a permanent exit this summer appears to be the best solution for all parties. Still young, Jovic can easily find his potential once again in a team that plays to his strengths under a manager who believes in him. Martin Odegaard knows all about that!

An in-depth analysis article published by Real Madrid community website Managing Madrid summarised that ‘any scout taking interest in Jovic’s game will find a niche striker, whom placed in the right system and environment, will find that the career-defining season at Eintracht Frankfurt the first time around was no fluke.’

Considering his struggles over the past couple of years, Jovic would not be the right profile to become a regular starter at Arsenal, at least not to begin with anyway. However, if Lacazette does leave at the end of the season, he would represent one of many decent backup options to have within the squad.

The fall from grace means Jovic’s value has also seemingly plummeted, with Transfermarkt giving him a £16.2m price tag. Edu can always test the waters with an initial loan offer which would come with little risk, but if Madrid insist on a permanent move then it would appear that a reasonable fee can be agreed upon.