Arsenal fans were met with disastrous news in the aftermath of the club's FA Cup win over Tottenham.
Theo Walcott, the club's top goalscorer last season, was ruled out for the rest of the campaign and the summer's World Cup with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The flying winger had only just returned from a hip injury and was in red hot form, finding the net five times in five games. His pace and movement offer Arsenal a new dimension, so his absence will be a great miss for both Arsenal and England.
Contrary to popular belief however, Arsenal have a ready made replacement for Walcott within the squad. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to full training following a lengthy layoff, while Lukas Podolski has returned to the team as well. Both still need a few more weeks to regain full fitness and form, but are more than capable of bearing the load left behind by the crocked Walcott.
Youngster Serge Gnabry has also produced impressive displays when given the chance. The young German possesses pace, strength, and football intelligence far beyond his years. It was his strong run and well weighted pass that set up Santi Cazorla for Arsenal's go ahead goal against Spurs.
Gnabry also scored his first goal against Swansea, helping the club to a 2-1 win, before winning a penalty at Cardiff which Mikel Arteta dispatched, and Arsenal went on to claim a 2-0 victory.
Arsenal's needs are solely in the forward position. Olivier Giroud has been a revelation this season, but the run of games has surely caught up to him. The Frenchman looked lagged in recent matches and has failed to find the net regularly.
Giroud needs backup or competition to continue to strive. Much media speculation has linked Arsenal to Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov as well as ex-AC Milan star Alexandre Pato of Corinthians.
Berbatov is a proven goalscorer and could provide an excellent stop gap. His contract ends after next season and Arsenal would provide a last opportunity at a high profile club for the Bulgarian.
However, at 32, Berbatov would provide more of a stop gap and a backup to Giroud. Pato is an interesting option. Injury prone and having ultimately failed to impress at Milan, Pato is a bit of a mystery buy. Undeniably talented, the Brazilian has spent the last two seasons in obscurity in his homeland.
Inconsistent and not really impressing wit his goalscoring tally. Pacey and energetic, Pato would add a different option to the Arsenal attack. His runs in behind would give the opposition something different to worry about after coping with the battering ram of Giroud.
Jackson Martinez is another player linked with Arsenal, having openly admitting his interest in making the switch to the Emirates. While similar in stature to Giroud, Martinez also possesses a burst of speed that Giroud lacks.
Martinez is good in the air, possesses strength and intelligence, and good finishing ability. However having played with Porto in the Champion's League, he would be cup tied. And with the side only behind Benfica on goal difference in the title race, his availability a major question mark.
Another man whose availability is in question is the psuedo Spanish Diego Costa (Brazilian, but opted to play for Spain after becoming a national), whose buy-out clause is rumoured to be in the £35-40 million region.
While also cup-tied, Costa is high on the list of many clubs and would surely ignite a massive bidding war. Options within the Premier League are always safe in terms of proven quality, but clubs are reluctant to sell to league rivals.
Aside from the aforementioned Berbatov, Christian Benteke impressed greatly last season despite failing to duplicate those performances this year. He provides a viable backup option, as does Demba Ba.
Frazier Campbell is a player who flies under the radar. His pace and incision could prove a real asset to any club, and prying him away from struggling Cardiff would not be a hard task. Despite failed spells at Manchester United and Spurs, Campbell has what it takes to play at a big club. With a talented supporting cast behind him, he could excel at Arsenal.
Arsenal do not possess ready made replacements within the squad in the forward position. The much maligned Nicklas Bendtner, despite impressing in recent cameos, was never a long term back up option.
The Dane was scheduled to depart the Emirates in the summer, but was restricted after Arsenal failed to land another proven forward (despite bringing in french youngster Yaya Sanogo).
Despite the Dane regaining his fitness and scoring two crucial goals, he mostly failed to impress during his eight-year stint in the first-team, much of which was spent on loan across Europe. He doesn't possess much different assets than Giroud and is often lackadaisical in his positioning and decision making.
Not to mention, Bendtner is now injured for a month after injuring his ankle after scoring in Arsenal's recent win over Cardiff.
Sanogo is Arsenal's latest forward signing from Monaco. The young Frenchman impressed during the U21 European Championship with France, but is highly unproven in the Premier League and has also gone down with injury.
With injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs as well, Wenger will have decisions to make in the transfer market. Especially as he will look to keep Arsenal top of the league
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