Why Arsenal must sign a striker in January if they want to win silverware

The Gunners need a viable back-up option to Olivier Giroud if they are to compete with other contenders for the title.

Arsenal have started the new Premier League season in exemplary form and for the first time in a while are looking like title contenders.

Arsene Wenger has bolstered his squad with the signing of superstar Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsay is in form and the back four is settled.

The one thing that will hold the Gunners back from challenging? Strength in depth up front.

Olivier Giroud has had a great start to the season, and is showing just why Wenger rates him so highly. The former Montpellier man scored again against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, and looks capable of getting 20+ goals for the side this term.

However, should the French forward suffer an injury, Arsenal would be in dire straits. With youngster Yaya Sanogo untested and currently injured, Nicklas Bendtner is the only real option for Wenger to lead the line.

Giroud has put a brave face on it this week in the media, saying that he is happy to play a lot of games.

"Maybe I will have some rest next week, for the Capital One Cup … I will speak to the boss but I am used to playing a lot of games and I feel good with my body so, touch wood, no injuries," he said.

Realistically, if Arsenal do not sign a new forward in January and continue to rely on the France international, there is a real chance that he could suffer fatigue and his level of performance could drop as a result.

Looking at other top six teams, no one relies on a centre forward more than Arsenal do with Giroud. The Manchester teams, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and even Everton have more strength in depth in attack than the Gunners.

The January signing does not need to be a world-beater, nor does Wenger need to splash tens of millions to land a star. Some clever scouting to bring in a striker of potential that is ready for Premier League football would be the sensible option.

Bendtner’s recall is a strange one, and from the outside it looks like he could be an able deputy. An excellent record at national level, where he has scored 24 goals in 56 games, suggests his calibre.

The problem is that he has scored less goals than that in over 100 Premier League games for Arsenal, and has failed to overly impress elsewhere while on loan.

Javier Hernandez, Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic, Jermain Defoe – does Bendtner hold his own against these back-ups at other clubs?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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