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Arsenal are playing the long game when it comes to landing a new marquee No 9 with Mikel Arteta and Edu set to wait until the summer before making their move. The Gunners were weighing up a swoop for Fiorentina Dusan Vlahovic before attentions appeared to turn towards Alexander Isak of Real Sociedad.
However, it soon became apparent that signing a centre-forward of this quality was near enough impossible mid-season, due to the figures involved.
For now, Arsenal will persist with current duo Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah until the end of the season but beyond that, the Gunners will push hard for a new forward to build their attack around.
So far, the club’s newly-devised three-man shortlist consists of Isak, Lille’s Jonathan David and Dominic Calvert-Lewin but before the summer transfer window opens, there is still plenty of time for others to force their way into the reckoning.
Express Sport analyses three strikers who could cement themselves as Arsenal targets in the coming months.
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Schick has come a long way since nearly joining Fulham on loan in January 2019.
Since then, he has put himself in the shop window with his performances at club level and at Euro 2020 with the Czech Republic.
His excellent goalscoring form at the tournament has since been replicated in the Bundesliga, where Schick has netted 18 times in 17 outings this term.
It’s only right that Arsenal take a look at the player based on his statistics and age (26) with the striker now seemingly ready to take the next step in his career.
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Raul de Tomas
The Espanyol forward was certainly of interest to Arsenal last month as director Jose Maria Duran told Esport 3: “Arsenal called for Raul de Tomas but we didn’t even want to talk. We won’t let him go now, no way. His release clause is €75million (£60m).”
De Tomas is second in the La Liga goalscoring charts with 12 goals in 21 appearances this term and could prove to be a solid addition for Arteta.
However, there are evidently more attractive options in play but now it’s up to De Tomas to prove he deserves a big move to north London, by continuing to build on his rich vein of form.
The Spaniard has previously struggled with both Real Madrid and Benfica so there will be doubts surrounding his capability of rising to the challenge.
Finally, Watkins is a player Arsenal admirer but once again, he is someone further down the pecking order than most of their current concrete targets.
While the England international has shown plenty of promise at Aston Villa, he’s perhaps lacking the consistent goalscoring record that would be required as Arsenal’s main man in attack.
Watkins often operated from the left of a front three, whereas Arsenal need an out-and-out central striker, long-term.
The 26-year-old has managed just five Premier League goals this term compared to the 14 he struck in his debut campaign.
His record will have to improve in the second half of the season if Arsenal are to make their move.
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