Amongst other injuries at Arsenal this season, attacking threats Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have missed the majority of the campaign.

The trio have been sidelined for various reasons and have watched on as their side has charged to the top of the Premier league with a five-point margin over their next nearest rivals.

Despite the impressive form Arsenal are in, questions still remain over whether the Gunners are serious contenders for the league, or if come May, they will have slipped away from the summit.

But the return of these three could be vital in their assault on the league and other trophies.

Podolski has been out since injuring a hamstring in the 2-0 victory over Fenerbahce in late August, but hopes to return to the team by the end of this month. The 28-year-old German scored 11 Premier league goals last season and had already netted a brace against Fulham this campaign before injury struck.

Podolski has been capped by Germany over 100 times and brings efficiency and experience to an Arsenal side which has not won a trophy for eight years. That along with his high-spirited nature could come in useful in keeping Arsenal competitive over the tricky Christmas and New Year period.

Walcott is hoping to return to the squad for this weekend's game with Manchester United. The England forward has been out since mid-September and after having his best ever season last year will be eager to build on it.

The pace Walcott brings to the side is irreplaceable and adds another dimension to an Arsenal team with an abundance of technically creative players. Mesut Özil has enjoyed his time since arriving at Arsenal, impressing with his assists, but it is Theo Walcott who will be the greatest beneficiary of Özil's vision with his ability to exploit the space in behind far more effectively.

Arsenal have only had their full-backs as a source of width recently but Walcott can offer this. With the threat of his pace, he can open up and drag apart defences. When games are tight towards the end of the season, he could be the difference  and with his finishing and final ball delivery much-improved, Wenger will want him back playing as soon as possible.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance in pre-season suggested he was ready for a big season at Arsenal, ahead of the World Cup next summer. Often playing in central midfield, his powerful running and intelligence on the ball was fantastic. An opening day assist for Olivier Giroud's goal against Aston Villa was the perfect start but a knee injury forced him off and he has not played since.

Chamberlain could have been a regular starter for Arsenal this season, he looked sharp and ready, but he will have his work cut out to make it back into this side. Though again, he is a good alternative with his power, pace and versatility. He is also comfortable enough on the ball to link with Özil, Wilshere and Cazorla. He will be a superb squad addition.

These three returning for Arsenal does not provide the genuine individual quality which could change the title race but, what it does bring is more of a strength in depth to the side.

Though not perfect, Podolski and Walcott's returns do offer back up to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud through the middle, though neither has seemed perfectly suited to the central striking role.

It does however, give Arsenal alternatives and variety in their attacking threat with the addition of pace, and good finishers around the box, along with genuine wide alternatives to the more centrally minded players who have been occupying those roles.

Still a signing may be required in January to complete the squad, but with these three coming back in over the coming weeks the squad are a lot more likely to compete for trophies.

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Topics:
#Alex
#Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
#Arsenal
#Theo Walcott
#Lukas Podolski
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