Isn't it time we replaced Thierry Henry? (Stats which could point to our next striker)

Isn't it time we replaced Thierry Henry? (Stats which could point to our next striker)

Looking at the strikers linked with the club I really hope that stats may decide how Arsene Wenger spends his money after the sale of Adebayor to Man City. Not since the departure of Thierry Henry have we been graced with a clinical goal scorer. Thierry Henry’s goal scoring record was 174 in 254 appearances. Many Gooners believe that the failure to replace Thierry Henry has contributed to our recurring malaise. Statistics are in the eye of the beholder and do not take everything into account. If applied to strikers then in absolute goal scoring terms, one tends to ignore the assists and of course the value of a ratio cannot reflect the quality of service from the midfielders.
So given the speculation over Huntelaar, could the dutch connection with Arsenal be the key to future success? Having said all of that the Dutch Eredivisie has delivered some sublime players over the decades with incredible scoring ratios, including our own Dennis Bergkamp who in his last three seasons for Ajax before being brought to Arsenal from Inter Milan, made 114 appearances and scored 88 goals. After two seasons for the Serie A outfit and seemingly unhappy, Bruce Rioch brought him to highbury for a record sum in those days of 7.5million. Dennis’s goal scoring ratio per game comes in at a very respectable 1.29 better than our Thierry!
Next up Ruud van Nistelrooy who during his last three seasons scored 75 goals during 91 appearances an incredible scoring ratio of one goal every 1.21 games, before moving to Manchester United. van Nistelrooy may have been one of the most hated opponents of Arsenal fans over the years due to mainly our close rivalry with Man United and his tendency to fall over theatrically in the box, one thing that we can all agree upon is that he was a good finisher and he has scored his trademark fox in the box goals at every club that he signed for.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar is of the same mould. Not as talented in close balls skills as Dennis Bergkamp, not as good a header of the ball as van Nistelrooy, but in Huntelaar there is a classy finisher who takes up good positions. What he lacks in pace, he makes up for in tenacity of getting the ball into the net. Admittedly some have called him lazy, with some of his inconsistent performances for Holland in the last European tournament, but in his last three seasons for Ajax he scored 81 goals in 111 appearances. He now appears to be surplus to requirements at Real Madrid and has been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham. His scoring ratio is 1.37.
Compare the last three seasons for Chamakh of Bordeaux, 119 appearances and 27 goals whose ratio comes in at over 4, much worse than Adebayor who ratio was 2.26, or the highly controversial Andre-Pierre Gignac of Toulouse who between breaking his ankle twice, fighting with his team mates, writing off a Bentley car, and being so overweight that he was offered slimming pills by his team mates. Gignac is a rising star in the french league, having been nominated for french footballer of the year and was last season’s top scorer. He has scored 42 goals in 83 appearances giving him a goal per appearance ratio of 1.97
In the end it knowing the most frustrating aspect of Arsenal Football Club, it will come down to the price. Chamakh for £10 million may seems overpriced for such stats but maybe Wenger’s coaching may make the difference. Toulouse are greedy and want £18 million or with Huntelaar, Real Madrid have agreed a deal for £18 million with the Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart who want to replace striker Mario Gomez. Arsenal would have to at least match that bid in order to steal Huntelaar from the team that last won the title in 2006/7.
I cannot see Wenger spending £18 million on Gignac from Toulouse who have already turned down a bid from Lyon of £14 million and clearly have the highest bid in mind. This is because the key signing this season will be in the DM position. If we assume that Blaise Matuidi from St Etienne becomes our new DM that would leave enough money for an Arsenal record breaking transfer. Oh and in case you were wondering about other strikers, remember the Bosnian from Wolfsburg that we were linked with over a month ago before AC Milan got involved? one Edin Dzeko! well he had a ratio of 1.76. David Villa of Valencia has a value of 1.48 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Inter Milan has respectable ratio of 1.54.
As for our own Eduardo, he is now clearly our best striker in these statistical terms coming in with a ratio of 2.58, closely followed by Robin van Persie’s with 2.94. Niklas Bendtner’s is a lowly 4.14. Compare those with the ratio of 1.45 of the scoring legend that was Thierry Henry. When they made Thierry Henry, they broke the mould and I accept that we are unlikely to be able to buy a player that came remotely close the great man but the one observation that gives me hope is that Arsene Wenger is a keen believer in stats…
***Breaking News***
Sky sources based on weekend german press report and speculation are currently claiming that Huntelaar has finally agreed to join Stuttgart… I await further confirmation about a transfer, for as the Adebayor transfer demonstrated, until the player has signed, nothing is certain.

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