Arsenal are believed to be in contract talks with a very talented young striker, who is also wanted by the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.
The Gunners are looking to add attacking depth to their frontline and as well as still pursuing a move for Jamie Vardy, they are interested in signing a younger striker, with 19-year-old Moussa Dembele a reported target.
Reputable sources including ESPN say that the Gunners are interested in signing the striker who is out of contract at the end of the month at Fulham and that means interested parties can immediately enter contract negotiations with their target.
Arsenal will hope that with Olivier Giroud as the clubs only recognised centre forward, they can convince Dembele that there is a quick and easier route into the first eleven than he may find elsewhere. Arsenal need players capable of making a difference here and now and the teenagers 15 league goals show that he is capable.
I decided to look at how Dembele compares with Arsenal’s Giroud statistically and in terms of playing style and also the Gunners main young attacker, Chuba Akpom. Dembele’s 1.24 successful take ons per 90 compared to Giroud’s 0.41 highlight how Dembele is a quicker more direct striker. Whilst Giroud is the most prolific in terms of goals, Dembele’s rate of 0.39 per 90 is much higher than Akpom’s (0.15). Giroud also leads the way in terms of assists (0.22) but Dembele is not far behind (0.17), Akpom certainly struggles in this area (0.05). Dembele’s shot accuracy of 52% is reassuring, Giroud, with 10 years more experience only manages slightly more (54%) whilst Akpom is way behind with a worrying 39%.
Giroud is, of course playing in a harder league, but he is playing with better players and has 10 more years experience than Dembele. The stats are looking promising for Moussa and he certainly appears to have plenty of potential and that is why such high-profile Premier League clubs in Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea are reportedly interested.
Dembele is unlikely to displace Giroud in the starting line-up anytime soon if he did join, but having a young, quicker and fearless striker in the squad is always a good thing. Take a look at the effect Marcus Rashford had on Manchester United’s season. It is important to have different types of options up front, especially when you are a big club. Arsenal’s attack has been so predictable in recent seasons and with the club targeting both Vardy and Dembele, we may finally see an Arsenal attack with more moves than one.
Dembele, formerly from the PSG youth academy, is 6ft tall, strong and quick. He is a well-rounded striker that looks capable of holding his own in the Premier League. Dembele now needs to decide whether he wants to continue playing regularly, perhaps at a lower Premier League club, or test himself and go straight to one of the big guns.