For the past few seasons Arsenal has relied on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal scoring ability - and to a lesser extent Alexandre Lacazette. However, both continue to be linked with potential exits this summer. Between Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football and the interest in Auba, Mikel Arteta may need to reload the Gunners’ attack.
Even if both left this summer the Arsenal cupboard isn’t completely empty. Gabriel Martinelli has impressed in his first season and at just 18 looks like he could develop into a serious attacking threat in the years to come. Eddie Nketiah, 20, has been waiting for more starting opportunities, whether at Arsenal or out on loan, to help determine what his potential could be. After them, and excluding the attacking wingers, Folarin Balogun is likely next in line. He was having a great year for the U23s - 10 goals and 4 assists from 16 games - before the halt.
Who might be on Arsenal’s radar as striker replacements? The Mirror is reporting that the Gunners are looking at Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard. The 6’1” 22-year-old French center forward came up through the Paris Saint-Germain academy going out on loan at Toulouse and Celtic before making the permanent move to Celtic in 2018.
Edouard has also featured for the French youth national sides, which is captained by former Arsenal youngster Jeff Reine-Adélaïde. Rumored Arsenal transfer targets Dayot Upamecano and Evan N’Dicka have featured in recent French U21 sides with Edouard.
Odsonne has lined up for Celtic 47 times this season, across the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup competitions, Champions League qualification and the Europa League. In that time he has scored 27 goals and provided 18 assists - nearly a goal+assist a game. Quite impressive, thus it is easy to see why he might be on Arsenal’s radar.
Currently valued at just $16.5 million, how many fans would be willing to sell Lacazette (valued at $66m) for a player like Edouard and $20-30m? I imagine most people are raising their hands.
Odsonne seems settled at Celtic and might be hesitant to move on already, but it would be hard to seeing a young player turning down a chance to jump to the Premier League. His profile, experience and potential price would appear to line up quite well with a team needing to rebuild under Mikel Arteta.