Oscar Wilde once wrote ‘Youth! Youth! There is nothing in the world but Youth!’. Indeed, visceral, dynamic youth has it merits, and the fresh talent on display at Arsenal is enviable, however something else is needed in attack; could that man be Klaas Huntelaar?
Linked with the Gunners in the past, this summer could finally see Huntelaar set for the Emirates as Arsenal look to strengthen an attack which suffered without leading talisman Robin Van Persie for much of the season.
Although Niklas Bendtner had a solid scoring streak in February and March (even finding his way into my Fantasy League side) – and at 22 years of age is still developing – he often requires a plethora of chances for every goal he scores. Other offensive options, such as Vela and Arshavin, seem to be favoured off a front man or in wide positions and so another Forward may well be required.
Admittedly no geriatric pensioner (I just wanted to use that Oscar Wilde quote really), at 26 Huntelaar is in the prime position to make the switch to the Premier League and could offer Arsenal a valuable asset.
Currently at A. C Milan, after a short spell at Real Madrid, on paper the Dutchman has the necessary qualities to succeed in the Premiership. One major attribute is positioning, the ‘right place, right time’ factor and, although used sparingly by Milan, he has an impressive goal to game ratio; 7 goals in only 11 starts this season just past, 8 goals in 13 starts whilst at Madrid and a record of 15 goals from 30 caps at international level.
Given the number of chances they create, if he settled adequately Huntelaar could realistically be a lethal goal scorer for Arsenal offering directness and a real potency in attack.
He has, of course, been out of favour since joining Milan, finds himself at a stagnant junction and, whilst boasting a prolific scoring record in the Eredivisie for Ajax, we all remember the likes of Kezman at Chelsea. Moreover, Wenger is reported to be in the market for defensive options and a Goalkeeper, so if Milan wanted to recoup the €15 million they forked out it may not prove a viable deal at this stage, with a loan agreement being another alternative.
Nevertheless, reaching his peak, seemingly suited to the Premier League style, a no-nonsense finisher with experience and a point to prove, Huntelaar could well be worth a gamble – particularly if he impresses during the World Cup – and is potentially a very productive muse for international team-mate Van Persie; if not on a permanent deal initially, then at least on loan with a view to buy. ‘Nothing in the world but Youth’, dear Mr Wilde? I hate to dissent, but there could be Klaas.
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