Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Arsenal needed striker for title tilt

Arsene Wenger's team need a striker
Arsene Wenger's team need a striker

Arsenal have finally opened the wallet to buy players, forking out a record £42.4m for Real Madrid's German midfielder Mesut Ozil and adding Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano to their squad.

Many will see the Ozil deal as a last-minute panic buy, following Arsene Wenger's failure to capture his main target, Liverpool's Luis Suarez or Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain.

It's a striker Arsenal need more than anything else.

Ozil is a good buy but whether he is worth the amount spent is another matter. There was quite a gamble on him becoming a Gooner, backed in from 7/2 to 11/10.

Most firms have cut Arsenal to 12/1 for the title but Boylesports are unmoved and remain best priced at 16s – probably nearer the mark.

The new signing grabbed nine goals with Madrid last season and is a reasonable 11/4 to hit the target on his debut but 10/11 for eight or more goals this season is best left.

Gareth Bale will be in direct competition with Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid who made the Welshman the costliest ever player (£85m) but he'll be pushed to keep the Portuguese ace out of the limelight when it comes to scoring.

Ronaldo is already off the mark and on the La Liga handicap market between the pair, Bale gets a 14.5 goal start at 5/6.

Bale just might find the Spanish scene more difficult to deal with and Ronaldo will still be the main man at Madrid.

League goals handicap: 5/6 Bale +14.5 v 5/6 Ronaldo; Bale league goals 5/6 over 15.5; 5/6 under 15.5.