Alexander Isak sent Arsenal a strong transfer message by netting the opener as Sweden beat Spain 2-1 in World Cup qualifying.
The 21-year-old striker emerged as an early summer transfer target of Mikel Arteta’s ahead of Euro 2020, with the Gunners “keeping tabs” on Isak ahead of a potential move for the Swede, according to The Athletic.
The report identified technical director Edu as a big admirer of the young striker, who was being eyed to address the north London side’s lack of spark and guile in front of goal.
Arsenal failed to bring in a striker of any capacity, with a similarly unhelpful lack of movement in the other direction.
They were unable to find a suitor for Alexandre Lacazette, who has one year left on his current deal, with no intention of extending his stay, football.london understands.
Additionally, Eddie Nketiah was also strongly linked with a move to Crystal Palace in the final stages of the transfer window but a move did not materialise.
The north London side have been made to pay the price for their inability to sell want-away players who could have secured windfalls for reinforcements, like Isak, to reignite a new era under Arteta.
Arsenal are bottom of the Premier League and are yet to score or even register a point. They must now look ahead to January to plot the future of their strike force.
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Here are three plausible options that football.london’s Fan Brand team believes the Gunners should target.
Ivan Toney – High Risk, Medium Reward
Ivan Toney has shown early signs that he has what it takes to become a leading Premier League striker.
The 25-year-old would fit Arsenal’s current plan and direction with regard to signing homegrown players, alongside summer signings Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale.
Brentford’s talisman is strong in the air, has an eye for goal and has demonstrated he would complement the more expansive forward runners in Arteta’s side through his on-field relationship with Bryan Mbuemo.
Thomas Frank’s newly-promoted side defeated Arsenal 2-0 on the opening day of the season as Toney dominated Arteta’s defence, opening avenues of opportunity for his teammates.
Toney’s strong mindset and aura of confidence bordering on arrogance – exemplified by his unique penalty style – would be very much welcomed, seasoning the Emirates with a spice that’s been missing since Arsene Wenger’s departure.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Low Risk, High Reward
Until Arteta can engineer a strong revival to a point where European football appears on the cards, Arsenal may have to continue looking for solutions domestically.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a proven goal scorer in the Premier League, having scored 32 goals in his past 72 appearances and he is an England international. Like Toney, he fits Arsenal’s current transfer model.
The 24-year-old striker has a lot of desirable qualities that Arteta will be looking for but Arsenal could face stern competition from Manchester United and even Chelsea, according to TalkSport.
Alexander Isak – Medium Risk, High Reward
Isak would probably be the dream striker for many Arsenal fans in light of this summer’s reports but the winter 2022 World Cup in Qatar poses a potential concern.
The Swede, who scored 17 goals across 34 La Liga appearances for Real Sociedad last season, has become a mainstay in his national team and will almost certainly lead the line should he continue his rich vein of form.
It remains possible that Calvert-Lewin will travel to the World Cup, and so too Toney, should they sway the thoughts of Gareth Southgate between now and then, but there is naturally a greater chance that Isak is called up to enjoy a key role in Qatar
However, aside from the initial risk of whether he will hit the ground running in a new league, Isak would be a great option who will certainly score goals.