One of the most evident issues from Arsenal's disappointing goalless draw at home to Burnley was the need for a new and improved striker. Alexandre Lacazette, who started as the no.9 in that nil-nil stalemate, struggled to get a sniff at goal and when the one and only opportunity came his way, the Frenchman failed to hit the target.
And with both the Frenchman and Nketiah set to leave the club this summer once their contracts expire, and Aubameyang being in exile, the Gunners are in dire need for a forward. This is why the club are locked in a long and complicated pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic, the highly-rated Fiorentina goalscoring machine.
The Serbian ace will enter the final year of his contract this summer and has communicated his desire to leave the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Serie A side are open to selling him this month to the north London giants as it would secure them both a huge transfer fee and Lucas Torreira, who is in Florence on loan from Arsenal. Unfortunately, the player holds no intention of leaving in January and instead plans on waiting until the summer before exploring his options, which has frustrated Mikel Arteta's side.
As a result, the Gunners, who remain in touching distance of a top-four finish despite their terrible start to 2022, are looking at other options. According to the Athletic, the Premier League giants have turned their attention to La Liga ace Alexander Isak, with the well-known news outlet claiming the club are "actively exploring" the option of signing the Swedish forward.
While the Real Sociedad ace is not target no.1, as that title hands down goes to Vlahovic, the Scandinavian talent has been on the Gunners' radar for some time. Isak is only 22 and would thus slot right in with Mikel's young but promising team, which includes his former La Real teammate Martin Odegaard. Additionally, the attacker scored an impressive 17 goals in 34 outings in La Liga last season, exactly a goal every two games, proving he can be lethal up front.
However, there are two major concerns. The Swedish star's form this season has not been great. Despite impressing in Euro 2020, the former Dortmund starlet has only netted eight times in 25 outings this term across all competitions. Additionally, he boasts a hefty release clause worth around £58M ($78M). The Athletic report that Arsenal will attempt to negotiate a price lower than his release clause, but with Real Sociedad chasing UEFA Champions League football and there being only a week left in the transfer window, it's hard to see his Spanish employers entertaining such a proposal.
Would Isak fulfill his potential if he seals an Emirates Stadium switch or would the attacker follow in footsteps of Nicolas Pepe and become an expensive flop? That remains uncertain, but with rumors in Italy claiming Vlahovic has a personal agreement with Juventus to join the Old Lady, the north London giants could be forced to look elsewhere for a solution to their striker problem.