Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Signing Radamel Falcao

With the transfer window officially open from today, it is probable that a number of teams will be active in the transfer market in the opening weeks of June. Arsenal have been linked with a host of players and though Wenger does not disclose much on transfers to the media, it is probable that the Gunners have been tracking a number of players in different countries.

With a number of players set to leave the club including the likes of Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner, Arsene Wenger will look to sign players who can provide quality depth to the squad. Thomas Bendtner, father and agent of Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, was of the opinion that the striker would command a transfer fee of around €11 million and that it was possible for him to find a club that would pay the transfer fee.

With Carlos Vela not impressing on the loan spell at West Bromwich Albion, there is a possibility that he could also be on his way out from Arsenal.Though Robin van Persie is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world, his injuries have meant that he has missed a number of games for the Gunners throughout his Arsenal career. Marouane Chamakh had an impressive start to the season but faded in the second half due to fatigue and the return of Robin van Persie.

The Gunners have been linked with a number of players ranging from the relatively unknown Moussa Sow to Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Wenger will look to sign players who can provide quality to the Gunners and with the frustration mounting after their dismal performances towards the end of the season, the Arsenal manager could be prepared to spend the money he needs to bring in world class players.
Though Radamel Falcao cannot yet be classified as a world class player, he is certainly one of the most talented strikers in the world. He has been linked with the Gunners and their arch-rivals Spurs and he has an release clause in his clause for a value close to €30 million which could force the Portuguese Champions to sell the Colombian striker.

Though Arsene Wenger is not a manager who will divulge Arsenal's financial muscle in the transfer market, it is expected that the Arsenal manager will have enough funds to splash the cash. A recent article on Arsenal's transfer budget on The Swiss Ramble blog is a must read for all Arsenal fans. Falcao joined FC Porto from River Plate in 2009 and since then, he has attracted the interest of many clubs around Europe due to his impressive performances.


The FC Porto striker has been very prolific in his two seasons in Portugal scoring 72 goals and he is a player who has an eye for goal.  Though he is not very tall at 5' 10", he is phenomenal in the air and a number of goals he has scored for the club have been through headers. He is athletic, provides intelligent movement and also has a good burst of pace.

He is good with both feet and also drops deep in midfield to drag defenders out of position though his movement in the box is what enables him to score many goals. His work rate is good and his anticipation  and reaction time is excellent which is why he has scored many goals. Arsenal have only Van Persie who is prolific but the Dutchman has had a number of injuries in his Arsenal career and cannot be relied upon to stay fit for the entire season.
Will Wenger splash the cash on Radamel Falcao?

Though Marouane Chamakh had a decent season in his first year at the club, he has not been prolific throughout his career. Since Falcao has played in Europe in both the seasons at Porto, he will know the demands of the Champions League in midweek which is an advantage. He is one of the strikers who has scored the most goals in Europe in the last two years and at the age of 25, he can go on to be one of the world's best strikers in the future.


The FC Porto striker will not come at a bargain and the Gunners will have to meet the conditions of the release clause of €30 million, which means that this will break Arsenal's current transfer record fee for Andrei Arshavin by some distance. The South American striker will be expected to score goals from the outset and should he suffer an indifferent start to the season, Arsene Wenger and the striker himself will receive much criticism on the transfer fee despite his heroics in 2010-11 season for Porto.

Also, if the striker is signed by the Gunners for a record fee, it is likely that he should start every game if he is not injured. Falcao has played throughout his career as a centre forward where his poaching abilities as well as his aerial prowess has been important to the striker's success. However, Arsenal's current 4-2-3-1 formation employs the use of only one centre forward which has been occupied by Robin van Persie when fit.

Van Persie has been excellent in that role of a centre forward in the 4-2-3-1 formation, scoring 32 goals in 44 starts in the last two seasons. If Falcao is signed, Arsenal will have to change their formation or accommodate Van Persie in a different position since Falcao will play as the lone striker.

The Dutchman is comfortable playing behind the striker but when Cesc Fabregas is available, he is best suited for that role which means Van Persie could be moved to the wings where he has not been prolific. Wenger might also change the formation to resemble a 4-4-2 formation similar to that employed by Manchester United currently where Wayne Rooney plays just behind Javier Hernandez.

Though various factors must be considered when spending so much money on a single player, Arsenal need a striker who can be prolific as well as stay fit for most of the season. Falcao has certainly shown that he is a natural goalscorer and though he could cost a large chunk of Wenger's transfer budget, it is important that Wenger signs players who can improve the quality of the squad and Falcao is one player who fits the bill for the Gunners.

If interested, please also read my post on The Pros and Cons of Arsenal target Ricky Alvarez


Pablo Messi said...

your analyse is great about falcao.we need at least a striker as well as a DM and a strong CB.If we splash huge money on falcao,then may be we have to relinquish one of the above mentioned position this season,this means we have to be more dependent on song and we can miss them if any injury concern takes place.anyhow when we have a manager like AW,i dont think we will be spending that much on a single player.

Vijay Murali said...

Thanks a lot for reading and commenting and glad you liked the article.

We need a DM and CB but we also need a striker for sure.. and no point having another sub standard striker.. If we do not go for a quality striker, Chamakh will do bec he is not too bad either..

But we need someone to replace RVP if he is injured and score goals regularly plus he offers something extra in the air as well..

My view is that we need a CB for sure but DM we can compromise a little.. One solution is this: sign a brute like Chris Samba.. and first choice team will be Song at DM and TV and Samba in CB in PL... But if Song is injured, Vermaelen is good enough to play DM and Kosc at CB.. Koscielny has really been much better since having a shaky start to the season.. Also, he will get better since it was his first year and inexperience contributed to his errors..

If Vermaelen plays at DM, then set-pieces, we will have extra protection since Vermaelen, Kosc and Samba are CBs.. Also Vermaelen's problem with regard to a CB is his positioning because he attacks far too high up the pitch that he could be caught on the counter...

But at DM, that is not a problem and also he has a very good shot which is not the case with any other midfielder barring Fabregas..
If a DM is gonna cost more than 8 million, I would rather have Vermaelen at DM..