Arsenal will significantly enhance their credentials as genuine title contenders if they are able to capture Karim Benzema from Real Madrid in January, according to the Premier League's record scorer, Alan Shearer.
The Gunners remain top of the table after 11 matches played this season, retaining a two point gap ahead of nearest challengers Liverpool, but missed the opportunity to extend their advantage on Sunday.
Victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford would have propelled Arsenal 11 points above last season's champions, five points clear of Liverpool and seven ahead of Chelsea.
It was a damaging blow to the Gunners' hopes of a first league crown in a decade, and Shearer claims he has doubted all season if Arsene Wenger's side would be capable of sustaining their good form.
But, admits the former England and Newcastle captain, the acquisition of Benzema, who has been linked with a €33 million move in the transfer window, may prompt him to alter his opinion, with the striker capable of taking Arsenal to the next level.
Shearer told talkSPORT: "I’ve tended to stay with what I said earlier in the season that, up to now, I don’t think Arsenal will win it, but if they went out and made a big statement come January and were to get someone like Benzema and carried on the form…
"They looked a bit leggy, they looked a little bit lethargic on Sunday at Old Trafford, and there wasn’t the fizz and the buzz around the midfield we have seen in recent games.
"Bearing in mind what we saw them do to Liverpool at the Emirates, when they pulled those three centre-halves all over the place with their movement, I didn’t really see [Nemanja] Vidic, [Phil] Jones, when he went to centre-half, and [Jonny] Evans being pulled around half as much as Liverpool’s centre-halves.
"[Olivier] Giroud, as well, he has had a very good start [to the season] but he looked a bit leggy on Sunday. They have had a fantastic start, you can’t deny that, but if you were to give them a world class centre-forward like Benzema then people might have to start revising their opinion."