Wenger tempted to bring fresh blood in January after Walcott setback
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims Theo Walcott’s injury has proven to be a major setback in his side’s run for the Premier League title. Walcott, who picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, is expected to be out of action for the next six months.
Arsenal are already without Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner, which means now the Gunners will have to play without any specialized forwards unless they sign someone during the January transfer window.
Wenger knows his side is currently enjoying their best opportunity to win the Premier League title in years, which is why the Frenchman will be tempted to bring in fresh blood in order to cut for his losses. Wenger admits that Walcott’s injury has prompted him into making a major signing during the January transfer window.
However, Wenger is also wary of the fact that bringing in new stars means he will have to overshadow the ones that are already at the club.
“[Walcott’s injury] has accelerated speculation first and of course my desire as well -- but let's not forget about Serge Gnabry who can play in the first team,” Wenger said.
“We have [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain back and we have many other players who can play on the flanks so to find better solutions than what we have internally will not be easy.
“Up front we lose Theo as a potential central forward and that's maybe where we have to look outside. But we hopefully have [Nicklas] Bendtner back in three weeks. We are there for the opportunities but it's very difficult at the moment.”
Wenger will refrain from bringing in new faces if Giroud makes a timely return. The French striker is expected to report for duty in the next Premier League game, which will be against Aston Villa on Monday.
Key players in the Arsenal squad such as Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Kieran Gibbs are also expected to return to the first-team. Oxlade-Chamberlain is also expected to be in the starting lineup.
“It is unbelievable because he [Oxlade-Chamberlain] played the first game of the season against Aston Villa, and now he is back and available and it is against Aston Villa again,” Wenger said. “That makes it five months where has been completely out, so that means he is fresh and that should give us a boost.”