Saturday, March 4, 2023

Arsenal: £28m striker 'would be excited to join project' at the Emirates

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins would be ‘excited at the project’ going on at Arsenal, journalist Pete O’Rourke has suggested to GiveMeSport.

The prospect of joining a club competing in the Champions League could be too good to turn down for the 27-year-old.

A report from ESPN back in 2021 suggested that Arsenal were keeping tabs on the England striker ahead of a potential transfer in the January transfer window of 2022.

Signing a striker may not seem an immediate priority for Arsenal due to having Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in their ranks, but squad depth can be so important considering the hectic fixture schedule that comes with playing in European competitions.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hinted during the January transfer window that they could bring in a striker, which highlights the need for competition in attacking areas.

“The problem is that we have only one striker, and to cope for that many months until Gabby (Jesus) is back is not easy. But we have to get the most out of the players that we have at the moment. If we can have some reinforcements, great,” said Arteta, as quoted by Football London.

What has O’Rourke said about Watkins to Arsenal?

O’Rourke has suggested that a move to Arsenal could be something that Watkins would be interested in.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “Yeah, it’s definitely something that a player is going to be interested in, especially if Arsenal are in the Champions League next season, which seems pretty certain that they will be.

“The chance to play at a higher level, the chance to go to a side competing for trophies and titles, is what all players want to do right now. I’m sure Watkins would be excited at the project that’s going on at Arsenal.”

Do Arsenal need Watkins?

Watkins, who signed for Aston Villa for a fee of around £28m as per Sky Sports, has scored regularly at every level he’s played at since starting his career.

The 27-year-old has scored 111 career goals playing for Aston Villa, Brentford, and Exeter City, as per Transfermarkt.

However, Arsenal do have young Folarin Balogun on their books, who is currently one of the most prolific strikers in France – only superstar Kylian Mbappe has scored more Ligue 1 goals this season than Balogun, who is on loan at Reims, as per FBRef.

Rather than spending some of their transfer budget on a new attacker, it could be time to introduce Balogun to the first-team.

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