Arsenal Are Wasting Their Time Flirting with Manchester City's Edin Dzeko

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Manchester City player Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on September 28, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

According to a report by John Cross of Mirror Football, Arsenal are considering pursuing an interest in Manchester City’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.

Cross writes:

We revealed this week that Arsenal have asked Real Madrid to keep them informed on Karim Benzema if they decide to sell the France hitman, whose contract is ticking down.

But the Gunners are also understood to be watching developments closely on Dzeko and, given any encouragement, they would move on him.

The Gunners would be better served diverting their attention elsewhere. The chances of Dzeko moving to the Emirates Stadium would have to be described as slim to none. 

Arsenal need a striker in January—that much is certain. Their reliance on Olivier Giroud is dangerous. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal battles with Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 10, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Pho
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski both on the sidelines, the only plausible alternative to Giroud is Nicklas Bendtner, who is not held in particularly high esteem by either Arsene Wenger or the Arsenal fans.  

Subsequently, Giroud has been forced to bear a considerable load upon his broad shoulders. He has already featured in 18 club games this season, and team-mate Laurent Koscielny recently admitted that the forward is beginning to feel the effects of his demanding schedule.

Koscielny told The Sun (via SkySports): 

It's true that he's not scoring but he is setting them up, like he did against Dortmund.

But he's also playing game after game and hasn't had a rest, so maybe he's feeling a bit of fatigue.

An injury to Giroud would be disastrous for Arsenal. He is a fundamental cog in their attacking machine, holding the ball up and allowing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla to flourish.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Luis Suarez this summer suggested that Wenger was looking for a striker with a very different skill set to Giroud. However, Giroud has since made his role in the team essential. Arsenal need someone who can match the Frenchman’s intelligent link play and aerial presence. They need cover and competition from a traditional centre-forward.

In many ways, Dzeko would fit the bill. He has Premier League experience and has a similar build to the powerful Giroud. 

Although Dzeko has been relegated to the substitutes bench at City by the form of Alvaro Negredo, he remains a formidable forward.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  Edin Dzeko of Manchester City beats Mathieu Debuchy of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2013 in Manchester, England
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

However, Arsenal would be wasting their time engaging in talks with Manchester City.

Why would City let Dzeko leave for a title rival? Arsenal are currently six points ahead of City in the table and are set to be major contenders to win the Premier League. City would be crazy to strengthen a competitor by allowing Dzeko to join them.

Arsenal encountered the same problem in the summer transfer window when they attempted to sign Demba Ba on loan from Chelsea. As soon as Jose Mourinho got wind of Arsenal’s move for Ozil, he pulled the plug on the deal.

If City have any sense, they’ll do the same. 

Arsenal do need a new forward but will surely have to look further afield than the Premier League’s top four to find their man.