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Arsenal not improving squad quality if striker signing is true

| 12.09.2013

“He’s close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week.”

This is a comment from Ioan Becali, the agent of Romanian striker Ciprian Marica, who is currently a free agent after witnessing his contract expire at Schalke over the summer.

Arsenal’s lack of striker options have been well documented, with little competition to Frenchman Oliver Giroud, which would become a major problem should he get injured.

Nicklas Bendtner does remain after failing to secure a loan move on deadline day, while young prospect Yaya Sanogo will expect some first-team action.

Marica would make a reasonable fourth option in attack and his strike rate at international level should be commended, with his 22 goals for Romania coming at a slightly better ratio than one in every three games.

Domestically, his return falls short of this percentage and the big question which needs answering is whether the 27-year-old is an improvement on Marouane Chamakh, who would have potentially been Arsenal’s second or third choice striking option, if not being allowed to depart for Crystal Palace?

It makes little sense to sell one striker to bring in a less competent one and the only plausible arguments that could be made in Marica’s case is that he is more versatile in a positional sense and may well demand a lower wage.

Either way, it would certainly be more of a numbers signing than one that will improve Arsenal’s chances of winning any silverware, with the Gunners 14/1 to triumph in the Premier League and 8/1 to lift the Capital One Cup.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.