Ex-Arsenal striker issues ultimatum to Wenger: buy a striker or concede title

Olivier Giroud

Former Arsenal striker Paul Mariner has a word of advice for Arsene Wenger...

The former Gunners striker and former manager of Toronto has issued a damning ultimatum to Arsene Wenger ahead of the close of the January transfer window at 11pm this Friday.

The 60-year-old who scored 13 goals in his 35 caps for England is adamant the French boss must buy a striker this week or conceded the Premier League title.

This comes off the back of the North Londoner’s 2-2 draw with Southampton at St. Mary’s on Tuesday evening – Olivier Giroud took the Gunners level with the home side at 1-1 in the second half with Santi Cazorla giving them a lead at 2-1 shortly after before the Saint equalized.

Lukas Podolski appeared off the bench on 90 minutes after midfielder Mathieu Flamini was sent off in the last 10 minutes. Overall, the manager may well feel it was a decent point away from home but Paul Mariner believes another centre-forward is the way forward.

"I've said they need a striker all along," Mariner stated on Extra Time.

"If they get really close to winning the Premier League and miss out by a couple of goals, won't everybody be kicking themselves that they did not splash the cash to just push themselves over that line.

"They are a little bit bare bones up top. [Lukas] Podolski can come in and do a little bit of a job but nobody can really replace Giroud at this moment. They need cover for that kid,” he added.

That kid, Giroud, scored the Gunners’ opening goal taking his tally to 10 goals and five assists in the Premier League this season but, as Mariner rightly suggests, an injury to the Frenchman could have disastrous consequences, especially in light of Theo Walcott’s injury that rules him out for at least six months.

Arsenal are strongly linked with Schalke starlet Julian Draxler this window with reports emerging this week that the Gunners have tabled £24.7 million ‘take it or leave it’ offer for the 20-year-old German international. However, it also appears that Wenger has not given up the chase for Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata who has been linked with a loan move to the Emirates.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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