In one fell swoop, Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge and the hopes of England making an impression at the World Cup in Brazil this summer were dealt a hammer-blow by injury to Theo Walcott.
Gunners and Three Lions forward Walcott, 24, may have escaped punishment from the FA for his reminding Tottenham Hotspur fans of the score in the North London derby when he was stretchered off, but it has since emerged that he ruptured his ACL. That means surgery and six months on the sidelines.
Arsene Wenger is now down to the bare bones in attack. Olivier Giroud has missed the first couple of matches in the New Year due to illness and an ankle knock. Nicklas Bendtner meanwhile has a similar injury that is expected to keep him out for the rest of January.
Walcott’s England colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is undergoing rehab on his own long-term knee injury, leaving Lukas Podolski as the only senior striking option available. The German has only just returned from his own lengthy layoff with a hamstring problem.
Arsenal have also been without summer signing Yaya Sanogo with a back injury, leaving Wenger with just reserve striker Park Ju-Young and young wingers Serge Gnabry and Ryo Miyaichi to choose from.
If ever there was a time when the Gunners boss needs to bolster his frontline, it is surely now. We’ve picked out five attackers he must consider signing this month.
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This article was first posted on January 7, 2014