Former Arsenal hero Ian Wright is unsure whether an Erling Braut Haaland-type strike would be an upgrade on Mikel Arteta’s current attacking options.
Despite picking the Premier League defences apart in his maiden season in England, the Norwegian may not necessarily be a hit at the Emirates Stadium, according to Wright.
“Progress the ball from the back … Thomas Partey … (Martin) Odegaard … (Bukayo) Saka … (Leandro) Trossard … (Gabriel) Martinelli… (Gabriel) Jesus … so many different ways to hurt a team,” Wright told The Athletic.
“As much as I was really pleased to be somebody that was at the time the main goalscorer, and you do want somebody who’s scoring between 15 and 25 league goals a season, I believe that when you are able to spread the goals around, people can’t plan for it.
“Of course, you look at Erling Haaland. Magnificent. Amazing what he’s doing and good luck to him. But would I change what we’re doing for somebody who’s scoring goals like that? I don’t know. It may mess up the equilibrium of what’s going on. I’m not sure.”
As bizarre as it sounds, Wright may have a point here.
Haaland has been a force to be reckoned with since swapping Borussia Dortmund for Man City last summer, tallying a mind-blowing 47 goals in all competitions this term, including 32 in the Premier League.
His first-half brace in a 3-1 thumping of Leicester City at the weekend brought him on the brink of an all-time Premier League record, as he now needs only three goals to shatter Alan Shearer’s haul of 34 in a season.
Bear in mind that Pep Guardiola withdrew his talismanic goal-getter at half-time. And it wasn’t the first time he reduced the Norwegian’s playing time, impacting his overall scoring output.
While Haaland has netted more goals in all competitions than Arsenal’s top-three goalscorers combined, the team’s chemistry in the north London camp has been off the charts.
Martinelli leads the scoring leaderboard at the Emirates with 14 goals in all competitions, with Saka and Odegaard following with 13 and 11, respectively.
In addition to the standout trio, Arteta has ex-Man City star Jesus and Belgian winger Trossard at his disposal, although the former has experienced an injury-plagued first season in London.
Sharing the goals around hasn’t prevented Arsenal from building a rock-solid title case in the Premier League title race, as they currently boast a four-point lead on the second-placed Cityzens.
But Wright may have to eat his words when Haaland takes on the Gunners in a top-table six-pointer next week.
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