Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is injured and will play no part against Cardiff City later today, highlighting the dilemma facing manager Arsene Wenger this month.
Just a short-term ankle knock, should Giroud be out of action for any lengthy period, the goalscoring will rest with recently returned Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski, or worryingly, Nicklas Bendtner.
With the transfer window open, this is the month Wenger must add a difference maker in attack if Arsenal are serious about sustaining their challenge on all fronts.
Giroud however does not believe it necessary. He told French television station Canal+, "If the coach wants to give me a breather he can, as long as there’s no new striker. I’d prefer it if there were no new strikers at the club."
Here's the problem for Giroud; his preferences don't really come into it, success is about the club rather than the individual.
We may appear harsh, but Giroud's comments indicate insecurity about his role in the side, showing he is fearful of losing the top striker's role; and also selfishness that he is putting his own aspirations ahead of what the team really needs.
Arsenal have scored 37 goals this season, by contrast Manchester City have 54, and have a greater strength in depth than the Gunners up front. This could eventually catch up with Wenger's men.
In his press conference yesterday Wenger attempted to reassure Giroud publicly, by stating: "I don’t know if we will do something or not [in January], but it is not to replace Giroud – we have great confidence in Giroud."
The Frenchman may have bagged the important winner against Newcastle, but a failure to score in big games over the past couple of months against Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton, Napoli and Chelsea highlighted that Arsenal need more options.
Despite the returns of Podolski and Walcott, who can play a key role - as Giroud later alluded to, if the manager wants to sign a new forward - he should not worry about upsetting the number 12.
Competition breeds improvement, and a new addition up front should only push Giroud on. If it does not then perhaps he is not the solution for them after all.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald