Arsenal looking to beat United and Chelsea to £20m Prem striker – report

Arsenal are looking to bolster their attack this summer and are hoping to lure Watford striker Odion Ighalo to the Emirates if they can beat off competition from Premier League rivals.

Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking to bolster his frontline in the coming months but does not necessarily want to make a ‘superstar’ signing, although Ighalo could cost up to £20 million, according to the Daily Mirror.

The 26-year-old Nigerian striker has been a real success following Watford’s return to the top flight, scoring 14 goals in a fine campaign so far.

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That form has turned heads across Europe, with reports suggesting Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid are also keeping tabs on the powerful frontman.

Arsenal currently have three options in attack, with Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud all able to lead the Gunners’ attack.

Giroud is currently Wenger’s first-choice but Ighalo has netted two more league goals than the Frenchman this term and could be a surprisingly good addition to the Arsenal squad.

Table: A comparison of Olivier Giroud and Odion Ighalo's key statistics from the 2015/16 Premier League season (via WhoScored.com)

Table: A comparison of Olivier Giroud and Odion Ighalo’s key statistics from the 2015/16 Premier League season (via WhoScored.com)

As the table above shows, Ighalo has registered more shots than Giroud, while also boasting a better strike conversion rate this season.

The Frenchman may have one more assist, but it’s the Watford star who has made more key passes than his fellow Premier League attacker, while also proving to be better when passing to teammates.

Ighalo has four years left on his current Watford contract but the Hornets would reportedly be willing to accept an offer of around £20 million this summer.

Would Odion Ighalo be a good signing for Arsenal?

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Arsenal legend thinks the club can win the league with French striker

Olivier Giroud has been the topic of public debate for little under a week now after it was suggested that Arsenal would fail to win the Premier League title with the French international as the lone striker.

Arsenal invincible Thierry Henry suggested that Arsenal need another forward after Chelsea clinched the title on Sunday against Crystal Palace, continuing Arsenal’s ten-year wait for another championship.

“I’m afraid, they need a top, top quality striker to win this league again,” Henry said.

However, Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas has argued that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger doesn’t “particularly want or need a new striker”, going on to suggest that Arsenal “can win the league with Olivier Giroud”.

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The last time Arsenal won the coveted title was in the 2003-04 season when they unprecedentedly went unbeaten. During that season Thierry Henry scored an unbelievable 30 league goals.

Currently Giroud has an impressive 14 league goals in just 23 games, although his season has been hindered by injury.

Thierry Henry Appearances Goals Goals Per Game
2003-04 Season 37 30 0.81
Olivier Giroud Appearances Goals Goals Per Game
2014-15 Season 23 14 0.61

As you can see from the table above, Giroud falls short once again of the proficiency required to propel his club to the title and maybe with more consistent output, Arsenal can regain the Premier League.

Do you think Arsenal can win the Premier League with Olivier Giroud as their main striker?

Olivier Giroud ‘proud’ of Arsenal’s fighting performance at Burnley

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has praised his teammates for their performance at Turf Moor against Burnley on Saturday after the Gunners secured a hard-fought 1-0 win.

The Frenchman has been on fire in the last few weeks and Burnley are the first team to stop him scoring for six Premier League games but Giroud is still happy with an eighth straight victory for the team.

“It was a tough game for us and we were a bit lucky. We did well to score early in the game because it was really hard for us. Burnley play with a lot of determination and it was a big fight, but we succeeded and it was a big win for us,” Giroud told Arsenal’s official club website.

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Arsene Wenger‘s side have often been criticised in the past of not being able to win games when they aren’t playing well, but the win at Burnley was certainly an occasion when Arsenal did just that and Giroud has echoed the importance of doing so.

“Sometimes you can’t play your best football every game and we tried to focus on not conceding a goal. It’s one more clean sheet so as long as we were winning the game, I don’t think we were too much in danger.

“If we were told that we were going to win this game 1-0 I would’ve taken that straight away. It’s never easy to win here. We kept our calm today, especially in the first half because they played really tough and it was a big fight.”

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Arsenal’s recent run has given them an outside chance of challenging Chelsea for the Premier League title, and while it is extremely unlikely the Gunners will bridge the gap on their London rivals, all they can do is keep on winning their own games and continue the winning streak

“It’s really good for us and I’m really proud to take part in these performances. We don’t want to stop here, though, we want to carry on and keep this good run and momentum going,” said Giroud.

Can Arsenal continue their good run of form until the end of the season?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Burnley vs. Arsenal

Venue: Turf Moor – Saturday, April 12 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 5/1 – Draw 16/5 – Arsenal 8/15

Match Preview

Burnley host the in-form Arsenal in the Premier League‘s evening game at Turf Moor this Saturday as their battle against relegation continues.

Burnley have just one win in their last ten games, but it has to be noted that was against the champions Manchester City at Turf Moor and they come into this game off the back off a 0-0 draw against Tottenham.

The Clarets are currently sitting 19th in the Premier League table and are running out of time to save themselves from the drop.

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With every team in the bottom five on the edge, their fight will still have many twists and turns but they have to start picking up points and it doesn’t come much tougher than this.

Arsenal are the in-form team in the league after winning their last seven on the bounce, which has made them Chelsea’s closest rivals for the title and they’ve pushed themselves up into second in the table.

Arsene Wenger‘s men have clicked into form at a vital stage of the season and this run will certainly help them attract big names in the summer.

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Sean Dyche‘s men have to take the same approach to this tie as they did from their astonishing win over Man City almost a month ago and they need to make their home advantage count during this run-in if they are to stay up.

It should be a tough, hard-fought tie with both sides having so much to play for at this stage of the season.

Team News

Burnley are set to have five sidelined as Steven Reid, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Kevin Long and Matt Taylor are all recovering from injuries. Sean Dyche will be hoping forward George Boyd can produce another moment of magic to continue his latest stint of giant killing.

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Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczęsny will be fighting to be fit following minor injuries. Wenger will need his goal-machine Olivier Giroud to keep the goals coming as he has seven in his last six. His partnership with Alexis Sanchez has proved to be a hit.

Key Points

Burnely’s last five: L/L/W/L/D

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Winning Streak – Arsenal’s seven-game winning streak has seen them climb up into second and a push for the title is an aim even this late on. Their next game against Chelsea is possibly the biggest Premier League tie of the season.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – An easy choice. Giroud is the man in form and now has a better strike-rate this season than fellow forward Alexis Sanchez. The Frenchman has notched an impressive 14 goals in 20 games.

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Score Prediction

Burnley 1-3 Arsenal – Arsenal’s momentum will overpower a spirited Burnley side fighting for their Premier League status.