With Olivier Giroud being out for up to 3 months, Arsenal is being linked with seemingly every striker available, from Radamel Falcao to Nikola Zigic. Having been boosted by their Champions League cash, Arsenal are prepared to sign a revelation of last year’s Serie A for 16 million pounds, Alessio Cerci. One of Torino’s pair (the other being Ciro Immobile) who was so deadly last season in Serie A. His form with the attack minded Torino side got him into the Italian national team and linked with Arsenal.
Tuttosport were the first to link Cerci with Arsenal, but they aren’t the most reliable of sources. However, Metro- also not very reliable– has reported that Torino will definitely be selling Cerci to a foreign club. If that happens, it will likely be to Arsenal, as Tuttosport reports they will be competing with Southampton for his signature. No offense to Southampton, but soccer fans know which one of those clubs a player would prefer to go to. Several more reliable sources have also picked up this rumor, such as the Mirror and ESPN’s transfer talk. So, the strength of this rumor is a 5 out of 10.
And Cerci would fit in well with Wenger’s playing style. Cerci managed to score 13 goals and get 12 assists last year for a Torino side known for attacking in numbers and playing similar to the Gunners. However, with the more defensive Italian national team, he did not impress. If you listen to the analysts, they’ll all tell you Italy don’t have a number 9, except for bad boy Balotelli, and that just shows you that some do not rate Cerci.
He does have the potential to be a star, but hasn’t proven it yet. If Wenger is signing him to replace Giroud, it won’t be the answer. Admittedly, he will add depth to the Gunners, and he does have more experience and is more proven than Sanogo or Campbell. But, he is a winger, or a second striker, and could struggle to succeed as a number 9. As a winger, he can be deadly and can create chances for Arsenal players to kill. Arsenal already have enough attacking players that aren’t number 9’s, so Cerci will only strengthen the team by a 6.5 out of 10.
If Wenger can’t get a world class striker like Cavani or Falcao, signing Cerci could definitely be in the cards. He won’t add superstar power, but will add depth to a squad that is struggling with injuries. The versatile forward will add a spark to the Gunners, and although, like Alexis, he is not an out and out striker, he has the creativity and caliber to increase Arsenal’s goal tally. Since he will increase the quality of the squad at Arsenal and since several sources truly believe this move is in the cards, the chance of this happening is a 65%.