Arsenal have been able to ride a wave of form to go top of the table, but they appear so threadbare upfront that an injury to Olivier Giroud may be enough to derail their season. Giroud's only backup is Nicklas Bendtner, whose return to first-team action has failed to create any sort of impact. Arsenal have accepted that they are lightweight upfront and they may have to sign a striker in January. They have been linked with the likes of Karim Benzema of Real Madrid.
After spending £42 million on Mesut Ozil in the summer, Arsenal appear to have relaxed their stringent spending norms. Hence, the arrival of stars like Benzema appeared a distinct possibility even in January.
Arsenal have been boosted by the news that Theo Walcott could be back as early as today after a long spell on the sidelines. Arsene Wenger has now ruled out the possible purchase of a striker citing the presence of Walcott and also the potential return of Lukas Podolski. According to Arsenal's official site, Wenger said:
“Theo gives us an opportunity to [field] a mobile striker.
“If we lose Giroud today, we have nobody with body weight up front apart from Bendtner. Podolski is not back as well, but he shouldn't be too far away now.
“I am not against it. Most of the time [we haven’t signed someone] it is because we didn't find them.”
Bendtner is rumoured to be contemplating an exit in January, which would once again reduce the options for Wenger. Wenger may have come out with the statement in order to lower expectations ahead of the January transfer window. Expectations that Arsenal could possibly come close or even break their transfer record once again are extremely high.
The transfer market, though, has changed since the last few months with Arsenal's main target Benzema once again finding the form to win over the Real Madrid fans. Wenger added:
“It is always difficult in the middle of the season. If somebody is doing well somewhere, the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him."
Wenger appears to be indirectly hinting at Benzema's improved form.
Ozil's arrival largely happened because Madrid signed Gareth Bale, and it was not a surprise to see this scenario repeat itself. Arsenal may sign Benzema, but that may depend on Madrid signing Suarez.
For now, Wenger will choose between Giroud, Bendtner, and Walcott (with Podolski close to comeback) to lead the attack.
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