Zirkzee to Arsenal: Gunners’ striker search could take €70m twist

Arsenal's search for a new striker looks set to take another twist, with reports from around Europe suggesting the Gunners are keen on Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee.

Zirkzee to Arsenal has been rumoured
Zirkzee to Arsenal: could it happen this summer? – Photo by Icon Sport

The 22-year-old Dutchman has notched 11 goals, with a further four assists in Serie A for Thiago Motta's high-flying Bologna side. But where he has really shone is his complete forward play and link-up.

Arsenal's hunt for a new number nine

For much of this season, it has looked as though Arsenal would throw the kitchen sink and a Declan Rice-sized fee at recruiting a new striker.

Arsenal have not had a settled choice at striker this campaign, with Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz all having spells leading the line.

Big money moves for strikers like Victor Osimhen, Ivan Toney and Victor Gyokeres have all been mooted. But with the Gunners' recent form, Mikel Arteta and Edu's priorities have reportedly changed.

Mikel Arteta has revitalised Kai Havertz as a central striker – Photo by Icon Sport

Kai Havertz has excelled as a striker for Arsenal this calendar year. In eight Premier League starts up top, the German has six goals and four assists.

As such, according to renowned journalist David Ornstein, Arsenal are now feeling more inclined to invest heavily in their midfield, with players like £100m-rated Bruno Guimaraes linked.

Consequently, the Gunners are now looking at recruiting a younger striker at a lower fee, who can be moulded into exactly what Arteta wants.

Zirkzee to Arsenal: why it makes sense

Arsenal's system is dependent on a well-rounded striker, capable of dropping deep to combine with teammates, drifting wide and leading the press.

But what the Gunners do lack is a player who is a complete package up front, as all of Leandro Trossard, Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus have weaknesses when leading the line.

Arsenal also lack serious pace in behind in attack, besides Gabriel Martinelli.

Zirkzee has the potential to solve all of these problems, in time.

Is Joshua Zirkzee the missing piece of the puzzle for Arsenal's attack? – Photo by Icon Sport

Firstly, the Dutchman is a phenomenal athlete, standing at over 6ft4in, but with a deceptive burst of pace in behind.

He's more than just a superb physical specimen though. The 22-year-old is blessed with excellent control, both in tight spaces and when bursting forward carrying the ball from deep.

Zirkzee combines very well with teammates, completing 29 passes per game, the same as Gabriel Jesus. He can create his own chances too, beating his man 1v1 1.7 times per 90 minutes.

He is getting better at taking them too, with 11 goals in his first full professional season, showing a cold composure in front of goal.

Zirkzee is far from the finished product, and has areas he will need to improve, but the Dutchman could be a real asset to Arsenal.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.