Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on 34-year-old Israeli forward Eran Zahavi as a surprise option to replace Alexandre Lacazette next year.
According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Arsenal have identified a surprise candidate in the form of PSV Eindhoven striker Eran Zahavi as a potential replacement for Alexandre Lacazette in 2022.
Lacazette has entered the final year of his contract with Arsenal. And, so far there have been no signs that the Frenchman will be offered an extension by the north London giants. In fact, the former Olympique Lyon ace has already been offered to Serie A giants AC Milan ahead of the January transfer window, while there has also been interest from the likes of Barcelona, West Ham United.
Given the uncertain future of the France international, Arsenal will do well to secure a replacement for him, more so considering that Eddie Nketiah also sees his contract run out next year and is being linked with a January exit. In such a case, the Gunners would be left with just captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and youngster Folarin Balogun as their options in the centre-forward role.
In order to avoid such a scenario, replacements are already being identified, and as per the aforementioned report, Eran Zahavi has emerged as a shock transfer target for Arsenal. The 34-year-old has spent the majority of his career in homeland Israel, having had stints with Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ramat haSharon and Maccabi Tel Aviv, while he also spent four years in China with Guangzhou City.
It is from there that Zahavi arrived at PSV Eindhoven in the summer last year and has become a key source of goals for the Dutch heavyweights. Indeed, the 34-year-old has a tally of 24 goals and 9 assists from 50 appearances for PSV, with seven of those goals coming in the ongoing campaign.
A prolific scorer across his career, the veteran has notched up over 100 goals for Maccabi Tel Aviv as well as Guangzhou City while he also has a return of 31 goals from 67 games for the Israeli national team.
Zahavi’s contract with PSV Eindhoven runs out at the end of the season. That would mean that the 34-year-old could join Arsenal on a free transfer if they do decide to firm up their interest in him in the summer. However, he is not the only option under consideration at the Emirates, with Torino’s Andrea Belotti also being looked at.
Considering that Mikel Arteta has focused on building a youth-centric team at Arsenal, it seems unlikely that Zahavi would be a top target. But given his goalscoring record everywhere he has been, the veteran could be a handy stop-gap option to have on the bench, if not as a starter.