Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham
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Arsenal icon Alan Smith says the Gunners need to be ‘clever and quick’ if they are to land Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. Vlahovic has been linked with a move to the Premier League after impressing in Serie A.
Arsenal look to be short of options to lead their frontline after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of his captaincy earlier this week following a disciplinary breach.
The Gabon international was left out of the squad against Southampton and West Ham and won’t be considered for this Saturday’s clash with Leeds.
Alexandre Lacazette has led the line in Aubameyang’s absence – but the France international looks set to depart the Emirates Stadium next summer when his contract comes to an end.
And according to Smith, Vlahovic could be the ideal man for the Gunners.
“Getting a proven Premier League striker is big bucks,” he told Sky Sports. “Do Arsenal have that kind of cash?
“If they did fork out £60million or £70m it stops them from strengthening other areas of the team in the transfer market. They’d be putting all their eggs in one basket.
“I’d probably guess they’d go down the road of a younger player from Europe.
“Somebody like Dusan Vlahovic, who still won’t be cheap, could fit the bill.
“I’m sure the analysis team at Arsenal are looking at all the stats to see who would be suitable and maybe a little bit cheaper as well.
“Like I said before, a lot of clubs are after that type of striker so let’s hope Arsenal can be clever and quick in the transfer market. They’ll need to be.”
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Vlahovic has scored 17 goals in 19 games for Fiorentina this season and currently leads the Serie A goalscoring charts after striking 15 times in the league.
Arsenal are however not the only Premier League team interested in the striker.
Manchester United are also reportedly in the race for the 21-year-old, who recently rejected a club-record offer to extend his stay at Fiorentina, while Newcastle are said to be preparing an £85million offer for him.
Although Smith has urged Arsenal to make a move, Vlahovic is reportedly not convinced by the prospect of joining the Gunners.
Arsenal may be able to tempt Vlahovic if they can land Champions League football for next term.
Arteta’s side are in a strong position to do that after wins over Southampton and West Ham last week saw them climb up to fourth.
And they could move four points clear of their rivals vying for the final Champions League place if they beat Leeds at Elland Road, with West Ham and Manchester United not in action this weekend after their games were canned due to the new wave of coronavirus cases sweeping through the Premier League.
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