Arsenal set for a battle to make top four

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In a recent article, I mentioned how Chelsea had missed a trick by not offloading Demba Ba to Arsenal on a season-long loan.

Ba's refusal to move resulted in Romelu Lukaku moving to Everton and consequently Chelsea had 18 non grown over aged players on their books and had effectively refused their squad size. This was further compounded by the fact that Chelsea only had five home grown players and their first team squad will be reduced to 22 players this year.

However, with a raft of young talented Under 21 players available for selection (Oscar, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard; Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah, Jamal Blackman, Thomas Kalas and Nathan Ake) squad depth isn’t a problem at Stamford Bridge.

Surely, given Arsenal's tradition of bringing through young talent Arsene Wenger wouldn't have left his squad short - yet the Gunners only have five home grown players to choose from; Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott; Aaron Ramsey, Keiran Gibbs and Nicklas Bendtner.

They are allowed to add their eligible under 21 players and this brings Jack Wilshere; Alex Oxlade Chamberlain; Carl Jenkinson; Emmanuel Frimpong, Ryo Myaichi, Thomas Eisfeld, Damian Martinez, Serge Gnabry and Nicholas Yennaris into the picture.

Jack Wilshere is top class of course, but injury prone and Carl Jenkinson has come on in leaps and bounds. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a real handful on his day, but tends to have long ineffective spells, which is understandable for a youngster performing at the highest level, the other hardly inspire confidence at this level.

When you consider that Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain and the injury prone Abou Diaby are all currently on the easy list Arsenal fans will be praying that the squad pick up few injuries between now and January. Unlikely, and if recent history is anything to go by that will not be the case.

Both Manchester teams, Chelsea and Tottenham all have deep squads with more than adequate replacements for every position; you cannot say the same about Arsenal. Liverpool have added wisely and also look to have more depth and cover than Arsenal at present.

The signing of Ozil is undoubtedly a coup, but the victory against Spurs may have just papered over the cracks. Arsenal have a decent first eleven, but you have to ask if they have a deep enough squad to achieve a top four finish this year, let alone a title challenge if they pick up long term injuries to key players.

Arsenal fans were promised a flurry of activity during the transfer market and it failed to materialise and Arsene Wenger’s much vaunted policy of bringing though talented youngsters has stalled in recent years. If you are an Arsenal fan you will be hoping that they add to the squad again in January but by then it may be too late.

It’s not all doom and gloom however as the world’s greatest self proclaimed striker is back at the Emirates after a two year hiatus; with Nicholas Bendtner back in the fold I’m sure that Arsenal fans won’t be ruing the sale of Robin van Persie after all.

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