Ray Parlour says Arsenal have to address their striker problems

Arsenal Logo

The former Gunners star says Arsenal need a genuine established star striker at the club.

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has been discussing one key area he thinks the Gunners need to strengthen before the end of the transfer window, telling Sky Sports that a striker has to be a priority for Arsene Wenger if they want to be a genuine title threat.

The Gunners failed to score during the loss to West Ham at the weekend, with Wenger seeing Olivier Giroud put in a poor performance having started with the Frenchman. England forward Theo Walcott then came on, but he too couldn't help the home side back into the match.

And Parlour has said that, although it isn't just him that is saying it, the Londoners need a top class reliable forward that could come in and lead the line at the Emirates. 

"That is a position they've got to look at," he told Sky Sports. "Everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon now but it's a long, hard season and there's a long way to go.

"If you look at Man City, you know Sergio Aguero is their main man, for Manchester United it's Wayne Rooney and at Chelsea, it's Diego Costa. Who is it at Arsenal?

"I didn't know who would start for Arsenal on Sunday because Theo Walcott started the Community Shield. I don't think they have someone who you can say 'he's definitely going to play and he will score us goals'."

For the former Highbury hero, who played 339 league games for the Gunners, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema would be the perfect signing, having been linked for much of the summer. And if not the Frenchman, that is the level of quality of strikers the club should be targeting.

"(Karim) Benzema has been well linked and if they could get a proven goalscorer like that then it would be fantastic," he added. "They can afford to get him and start competing in the transfer market whereas before they couldn't because of the stadium."

Real Madrid have said that they are not interested in selling the former Lyon man, according to Sky Sports quotes given by Rafa Benitez ahead of the club's Audi Cup matches last week, so if the Gunners can't sign Benzema they have to identify another top-class forward to come in. 

Given the disappointment that came after the 2-0 loss to the Hammers, arguably the shock of the weekend, the club's signing of a quality forward could be the difference between a genuine title and Champions League challenge, and another inconsistent campaign.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch