Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith feels Mikel Arteta should look to sign Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins ahead of Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The Gunners may be in the market for a new hitman. Alexandre Lacazette will be out of contract in the summer and has shown no signs of extending his stay in north London. And, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang currently out of the picture due to disciplinary reasons, Arteta might act in January.
Calvert-Lewin has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates. The 24-year-old bagged 21 goals from 39 appearances in all competitions last term.
He has been capped 11 times by England and responded with four goals. Injury has robbed the Toffees of their hitman for most of the current campaign to date.
The Sheffield-born ace has made just three appearances in 2021-2022. And he scored in each match, the last being a 2-0 triumph over Brighton in late August.
Rafa Benitez’s side has suffered in his absence, winning just three top-flight games while he has been sidelined. Reports earlier this week suggested the capital outfit were considering a move for the former Sheffield United star.
But Smith has his doubts over the Goodison man and has urged them to switch focus to the West Midlands.
“I wouldn’t say Calvert-Lewin is an ideal fit for Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports. “In many ways he’s an old-fashioned centre-forward and he loves balls being swung into the box and there’s not many better at getting his head to the ball and attacking it.
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“In terms of his movement, maybe Ollie Watkins is a striker I’d have thought Arsenal would look at, but are they looking at him?”
Watkins ticks Arsenal boxes
Watkins made his name at Brentford, scoring 25 Championship goals in 2019-2020. Villa came calling in September last year and the Devon-born ace enjoyed a solid first Premier League campaign.
He notched 14 goals and has earned five England caps, scoring once. The former Exeter City forward has bagged five times for the Villa Park outfit this term.
He has scored four times in his last eight games and Smith believes he could be a perfect fit for Arsenal.
“I’m not sure Steven Gerrard would be letting him go in a hurry,” he added. “However, that kind of mobile central striker that will really threaten in behind defenders, perhaps, is a bit more like it.”