Why Defoe’s continued exploits make him an Arsenal fit


England v Lithuania FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

A deal for Cohen Bramall might be on the cards, and yes a new full-back is needed at the Emirates stadium, but saying this Arsenal team is not crying out for a new centre-forward would be pure misjudgement.

In fact, a goalscorer, never mind Granit Xhaka, should have been Arsene Wenger’s first signing as soon as last season ended.

If an injury (to Per Mertesacker) is what has got Wenger dusting off his wallet to sign a defender, then an injury (to Danny Welbeck) should have seen him get the deal done for a striker long before the 2016/17 campaign kicked off.

Perhaps the audacious bid for Jamie Vardy last summer was a sign that the club had realized Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott as centre-forward options would not be enough.

But even with the need for a new goalscorer now understood, who at all is available to be bought in January? Vardy is gone, Higuain is gone, barring an astronomical transfer bid, Morata isn’t coming and neither is Mauro Icardi in the middle of the season.

That leaves Alexandre Lacazette as the only remaining option because, in truth, Romelu Lukaku is hardly clinical enough to lead the Gunners’ frontline.

And with Lyon’s president continuing to make a nuisance of himself, who is to say Lacazette, a man currently sidelined by injury anyway, will end up joining Arsenal before February 1?

If the Frenchman’s proposed move never happens, Arsenal will have to humble themselves and find anything better than Walcott because, let’s face it, when Sanogo and Akpom are your only out-and-out strikers available on the bench, you are well and truly desperate.

Whomever the alternative to Lacazette is will have to be a quick-fix; a man who might not deliver beyond one or two seasons. And that is where Jermain Defoe makes some sense.

Yes, he is a 33-year-old striker, but his numbers last season – which were not different from his decent tallies from previous years – proved that he still knows where the back of the net is.

Take a look at his goal against Manchester City on Saturday and you will be reminded that he is the sort of striker Walcott has been aspiring to be for ten years now; a pacey, small-sized finisher.

Defoe has always been an above average striker who could provide you 20 goals, sitting in front of any midfield – never mind the ultra-creative one at Arsenal which puts chance after chance on the plate for even mediocre strikers.

Indeed, considering the form Defoe is in at the moment, he would have been a much-coveted name had he been a decade younger. But that is the point here. He is meant to be a quick fix and a quick fix is what Arsenal are in need of.