8 Reasons Why Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Is The Perfect Signing For Arsenal

The Dutch striker is hot property on the transfer market as his contract expires in the summer, but here is why Wenger should pull out all the stops to secure his signature...
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The Dutch striker is hot property on the transfer market as his contract expires in the summer, but here is why Wenger should pull out all the stops to secure his signature...

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Schalke Play A Similar System to Arsenal

Huntelaar’s goalscoring exploits in Gelsenkirchen have been highly impressive given the competitiveness of the Bundesliga over recent years, with Bayern Munich’s grip on the league softened by the likes of Dortmund and Schalke. As was highlighted by the two encounters in the Champions League group stages this season, both Arsenal and Schalke employ similar systems and share a similar footballing philosophy, so any potential move to North London should be as seamless as possible. There will be no unfamiliar style of play to adapt to; he’d fit straight in.

Wenger Is Successful When It Comes To Signing Dutch Players

There are always exceptions to the rule but, by and large, Wenger has enjoyed success with Dutch players: Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp (signed by Rioch) and Robin Van Persie being the three that instantly come to mind. There may not be a sizeable list of Dutch players Wenger has signed or coached to really extrapolate anything definitive from, but the success rate of players from Holland who come to the Premier League is probably around 50/50 at best, whereas Wenger tends to hit usually hit gold. Whilst Huntelaar is not as technically gifted as any of his aforementioned compatriots, there is no reason why he can’t be as prolific as the latter two mentioned.

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

This is also known as the early Chelsea/Man City transfer policy when they came in to oil money, but if Arsenal were not to sign Huntelaar, then there’s a very good chance that one of their rivals will do. Whilst I’m not suggesting they sign the Dutchman just so Spurs or Liverpool can’t – he’d be a fine signing for any team in the league – if they were to miss out on his signature they could come to regret it next season, especially if they have to rely on Chamakh or Bendtner for goals whilst the team they’re competing for fourth with have Huntelaar to call upon.

He’s Not Yet Turned 30 But Has Scored Nearly 300 Career Goals

Yes, lost in all the tenuous points I’ve made here is the fact that Klass-Jan Huntelaar is a phenomenal goalscorer, and has been for a very long time. You don’t need me to dress up the facts here, the man scores a lot of goals for club and country, and anything else you say is irrelevant. Coming in to this season he had scored 248 goals in 377 appearances in club football, and he is available to sign for no transfer fee at the end of the season.

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He Has Proven His Class In Several Different Leagues

Whilst Huntelaar is not particularly quick, his fantastic movement and reading of the game have allowed him to thrive for Holland, Ajax and Schalke. They may all play similar systems, but there are still notable differences in the ways the three sides play to understand that he is capable of scoring goals in a variety of systems. The Premier League may at times be more direct and physically demanding, but Arsenal play a more continental style of football, so such cultural differences should not be a concern.

He’s Going To Be An Absolute Bargain For Whoever Signs Him

He’ll likely be on a substantial wage packet – he’s one of the best goalscorers in Europe, though, so that’s a given – but his contract expires in the summer, meaning that Schalke will either accept a cut-price fee for him in January or lose him for nothing at the end of the season. You only need to look at the fees Premier League clubs have spent on strikers over recent years to see that this is an opportunity that any club would be crazy to pass up.

His So Called Failings At Milan And Madrid Are Misguided

His ability to become more than a big fish in a small pond has been called in to question by the fact that he was shipped out relatively quickly by Real Madrid and Milan during his brief stints there. Expectations were obviously higher in Italy and Spain given the prestige and success of the clubs he was at, but a deeper look in to the facts show that not only was he not given a proper run in the side, but when he started, his goalscoring record was pretty impressive: 8 goals in 13 starts for Real Madrid; and 7 goals in 15 starts for Milan. I know the achievements of one Leo Messi have meant that fans are no longer content with a forward who averages about one goal in two games, but I bet all fans wish that strikers who failed at their clubs had such a record as Huntelaar.

He’s A Better Player Now Than When He Was At Ajax

When he and Luis Suarez were tearing up the Eredivisie together, Huntelaar was a great player. Now, though, he’s a much better all round player than he was then, partly due to the fact that he had to become one in order to maintain his goalscoring exploits given the quality of the opposition in Germany and internationally. He’s not the type of forward who will be regularly scoring goal-of-the-season contenders, but he’s good in the air, can hold the ball up well and scores goals with both feet from anywhere in or around the area. Also, did I mention that he scores lots of goals?