Five transfer targets to solve Arsenal's attacking woes after Welbeck injury
It was already clear before the injury that ruled out Danny Welbeck out for nine months that Arsene Wenger would be wise to go looking for a top-quality striker in this summer's transfer window.
With Welbeck now ruled out until February, Wenger's hand seems to have been forced even more. Given Olivier Giroud's inconsistency this season and Theo Walcott's struggles, the Gunners can hardly be expected to challenge for the title unless they add some firepower up front. Bringing back Yaya Sanogo from his latest unimpressive loan spell (Ajax, the Charlton) just isn't going to cut it.
Of course, world-class strikers are hard to come by; previous pursuits of players like Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez have ended in disappointment in the past. But if Wenger does decide to splash the cash this summer, here's a look at a new crop of strikers he could go after.
Alvaro Morata -- Juventus
The former Real Madrid forward is being increasingly linked with a move to the Emirates after starting less than half of Juventus' league games this season. The Spaniard would bring a different kind of skillset to Arsenal as he is a much better dribbler than Giroud or Walcott, but he is far from a proven scorer.
Morata has never netted more than eight league goals in a season, and has struggled to lock down a starting place at both Madrid and Juventus. Arsenal need a 20-goal scorer, and Morata has yet to show he can be that man. However, Wenger has had some success in helping former Juventus forwards reach their potential (Thierry Henry), and may think he can do it again.
Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan
Icardi represents a more readymade option who has proven he can deliver on a regular basis. He was the joint top scorer in Serie A last season with 22 goals, and has 16 this campaign. And that's without Mesut Ozil supplying him with assists.
The Argentine is a clinical finisher with both feet and makes the kind of runs behind defenders that will make him a good target for the likes of Ozil and Santi Cazorla. Wenger has often said the world's top strikers come from South America these days, which could make Icardi an even more attractive target.
Alexandre Lacazette, Lyon
Lacazette has often been hailed as the next Thierry Henry and is likely to spark a bidding war among top clubs this summer if Lyon decide to sell him. The 24-year-old has the speed and dribbling skills to wreak havoc on defences regardless of where he gets the ball, helping him create chances for both himself and teammates.
The Frenchman is also a deadly finisher with his right foot, netting 48 goals over the last two Ligue 1 seasons. He does seem overly dependent on his right foot, though, and he's not the type of target man that Wenger likes to have up front. But pairing him alongside Alexis Sanchez would be a nightmare for defenders.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Borussia Dortmund
Aubameyang is another striker who has been frequently linked with Arsenal and signing him would instantly restore some enthusiasm among a disenchanted fanbase. The problem, though, is that Dortmund have said they're holding out for an offer in the €100 million region, and not even the Premier League's new TV deal is likely to convince Wenger to spend that kind of money.
But the Gabon international is almost a guarantee for goals, having netted 40 of them in all competitions this season. If Arsenal really want to make a statement, he'd be the guy to go for.
Michy Batshuayi - Marseille
The dynamic Batshuayi has been tipped to become Belgium's next star forward and has impressed with Marseille this season by scoring 17 league goals and adding nine assists.
The 22-year-old has a blend of pace and power that lets him take on defenders outside the area but is also capable of serving as a good targetman up front. Arsenal have reportedly sent scouts to watch him play this season, and Batshuayi has previously said he is a lifelong Gunners fan. He sounds like a perfect fit, but would Wenger take a gamble?
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.