Alexis Sánchez’s goal against Besiktas last Wednesday granted Arsenal a place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League and certainly offered Arsene Wenger some guaranties that the versatile Chilean footballer could perfectly act as a lone ranger up in the front, while Olivier Giroud recovers from his long term injury.
Regardless of that fact and although Arsene Wenger has recently claimed that he will not dive into the market just for the sake of trying to find a replacement for the French centre forward, the truth is that Arsenal need to increase the team’s firepower and to bring in a new and experienced centre forward.
Recent reports from the media have linked the Gunners with several forwards: from Danny Welbeck to Mirko Vucinic and even the unlikely Serbian giant Nikola Zigic; nevertheless, as far as one can see, such transfers were no more than mere rumours and Arsenal might have in fact already granted the signing of Torino’s versatile Italian forward Alessio Cerci.
According to the English media, Torino’s chairman has confirmed that Alessio Cerci will be sold to a foreign team over the next couple of days and Arsenal are the most likely destination of the Italian international. To fuel things even further, Cerci didn’t take part of his team’s UEFA Europa League match against RNK Split last Thursday, since he allegedly wasn’t on his right frame of mind because of all these rumours surrounding his future.
Being just 27 years old, Cerci’s career was built in Italy, where he played for several teams, including Roma, Atalanta, Fiorentina and recently Torino, with whom he signed a contract back in 2012. Contrary to Olivier Giroud, Cerci is not a classic centre forward by any means, in fact, and although he can be used as a poacher as well, he is of best use when playing as a winger both on right or on the left side. Cerci has some impressive dribbling and first touch skills, something that when combined with his impressive flair and speed, transforms him into a fairly dangerous footballer to the opposition’s defence lines.
Last season, Cerci paired up with the Italian sharpshooter Ciro Immobile in the Toro’s forward line, where he was used as some sort of second striker or trequartista by Torino’s head coach Giampiero Ventura, and he did just fine.
Regardless of Cerci’s immense talent, if Arsenal is looking for a classic centre forward, they are definitely knocking on the wrong door, however, if Wenger intends to change his usual game style by implementing more versatility on the forward line, Cerci might certainly be a solid case of success at the Gunners’ team this season.