Arsenal could make an early move to solve their striker injury crisis with a £2m move for Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov, as the Bulgarian has just six month to run on his current contract.
Nicklas Bendtner took the headlines on New Year’s Day as he scored late on during the Gunners’ 2-0 victory over Cardiff City, but the Danish international limped off the pitch after he injured his ankle in the act of scoring. With the 25-year-old set to be ruled out for around four weeks, and Olivier Giroud also out injured, Arsene Wenger could look to bring in a new face before their next Premier League match on 13 January against Stoke.
Wenger has already confirmed that the club are in the market for a “quality striker” should one become available, and Berbatov’s agent has already claimed that the 32-year-old is considering a move away from Craven Cottage this month.
While his quality is unquestioned, Berbatov has been criticised in the past for what is deemed a lack of effort and a low work rate, which wouldn’t sit well I an Arsenal side that has ground out three late victories in recent games against Cardiff, Newcastle and West Ham.
Berbatov joined Fulham and the beginning of last season for an undisclosed fee after Sir Alex Ferguson deemed him surplus to requirements at Manchester United. He currently has 20 goals in 51 appearances for the Cottagers, and scored the winner in Wednesday’s 2-1 comeback victory over West Ham.
Ahead of their FA Cup match against arch-rivals Tottenham, Arsenal will need to select either Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott or the fit again Yaya Sanogo to start in attack, although Olivier Giroud could recover in time to feature should Wenger feel the need to take a risk with the Frenchman.
Podolski started the match against Cardiff in the lone striker role, but looked short in match fitness and was replaced by Bendtner midway through the second half, to great effect.