Back in January 2012 Arsenal came close to signing forward Solomon Kalou from Chelsea but the deal fell through.
Kalou wanted to keep the same £60,000 per week salary he was on at Stamford Bridge but Arsenal were only offering £40,000 per week.
Six months later Chelsea refused to give the forward a new contract and he departed on a free transfer to Lille. Despite his failure to embrace the French league, Kalou went on to register 14 goals and three assists in 28 matches.
This season the Ivory Coast forward’s numbers have trailed a bit, scoring three goals and notching a single assist in 13 Ligue 1 matches. The Daily Mail now reports that Kalou has had enough of life in the French top-tier and desires a return to the Premier League with Arsenal one of his desired endpoints.
It’s widely accepted that Arsenal will be shopping for a new forward this January and Kalou could be considered a candidate for the North London side.
His pace and touch would fit in well with the Gunners. Arsenal also wouldn’t have to break the bank to acquire him as his release clause is set at £2.5 million.
But this feels like a deal Arsenal should avoid. While Kalou does play as a forward he does not operate as an out-and-out central striker, which is the cover they’re looking to find for the over-worked Olivier Giroud.
It’s also doubtful Kalou would displace any of the Gunners attacking midfielders. The front three of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky is on lock while Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere also work their way into the rotation. Factor in the upcoming returns from injury of Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kalou looks to be surplus goods at the Emirates.
It’s the kind of predicament that will have Ivorian lamenting over the failure to take that £40,000 per week offer back in 2012.