There may be limited options up front for Arsene Wenger against West Ham on August 9 unless the club's injury situation clears up.
Arsene Wenger confirmed his squad for the upcoming Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore this week, and the continued absence of Danny Welbeck could mean the England striker struggles to be fit in time for the start of the new season.
The former Manchester United man suffered an injury to his knee in April that saw him miss the Gunners' final five league games, as well as the FA Cup final over Aston Villa and England's international matches in June.
"Welbeck isn’t completely recovered from the problem he had [at the end of last season]," Wenger told the Arsenal website. "He’s not back in full training so he will stay behind."
This could potentially be a problem for the Frenchman, who, with Welbeck's absence, is heading into the season with limited options up front.
Aside from Olivier Giroud, Arsenal have just Theo Walcott and a series of unproven or misfiring youngsters in attack, such as Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell, if Welbeck were to still be struggling into August.
That could well be enough for Wenger to dip into the transfer market and make a striker signing in the next month or so, something Gunners fans have been hoping he would do for a long time.
Given the club's willingness to consider big money purchases over the last few transfer windows, that could even mean a high-profile arrival.
The need to do this could be offset by Welbeck becoming available before the end of the month, but there remains an argument to improve the striking ranks whatever happens - the 25-year-old taking longer than expected to get fit only makes it clear how important a new signing would be.
Wenger will have last season fresh in his mind, when Giroud suffered an injury early on and Welbeck was brought in to deputise for the France international, and if Wenger is serious about challenging for the title he can't afford to have anything but a strong start and a strong squad come August 9 against West Ham.