Arsenal’s striking woes were worsened on Wednesday when it was confirmed their top goalscorer in the Premier League this season, Gervinho, is out for a month.
The Ivory Coast international suffered and ankle injury not long after coming on as a substitute in the Gunners 1-0 win over QPR last Saturday.
He was stretchered off and, according to the Daily Mail, a scan carried out on Monday night showed ankle damage that would prevent Emirates Stadium boss Arsene Wenger from picking him for the next four weeks.
It leaves the Frenchman with limited options going into the crucial clash with Manchester United in the Premier League next Saturday.
It leaves Wenger with only Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski as recognised centre-forwards, though the latter has only been deployed in the central role once this season as Wenger has preferred to use him on the left.
Giroud has been struggling to find form in the league so far this season and his experience in the Premier League may have led Wenger to choose to use Gervinho in that role, as he has done so numerous times this season.
However, Giroud was impressive as a substitute in the astonishing 7-5 comeback win against Reading in the Capital One Cup clash on Tuesday night.
Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick in the match – Arsenal were trailing 4-0 at one point in the first half – and he has publicly stated a desire to be used in a striking role, but Wenger has yet to acquiesce to the England international’s wishes.