Football

Striking crisis an increasing worry for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal

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Arsenal's dismal performance in their Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday night once again raised questions as to why Arsene Wenger did not recruit a striker in the summer transfer window.

Olivier Giroud, before his clumsy sending off, cut a lone and frustrated figure at the spearhead of the Gunners' attack and was frankly awful, failing to retain the ball on a number of occasions and missing a clear-cut chance to open the scoring from point-blank range.

The Frenchman, despite boasting a good goalscoring record that has eclipsed even the likes of Wayne Rooney in the past three seasons, is simply not the striker that Arsenal need.

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They need a proven goalscorer - someone that will make fans genuinely excited about going to watch the north Londoners play. A high-profile signing similar to the stature of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, for example.

Arsenal's midfield is arguably the best in the league. Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Theo Walcott and the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are a mouth-watering combination when they are all on top form.

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They possess pace, power and creativity, which renders it all-the-more confusing as to why Wenger has refused to complement his talented midfield with a striker of similar ability.

Many Arsenal fans will look at the failure to buy a striker as a massive black mark against Wenger's name. The statistics are there for all to see - Wenger was the only manager in the top five European leagues not to recruit an outfield player, which represents the frustration surrounding the Emirates in recent years.

With Arsenal's midfield famed for their proneness to injury, a central midfielder was also seen as vital. The Gunners saw a realistic target and able predecessor to the declining Mikel Arteta in Yohan Cabaye join London rivals Crystal Palace instead, and moves for the likes of William Carvalho and Arturo Vidal failed to materialise.

But it is up front where the Gunners have the most problems. Theo Walcott is seemingly first-choice in the Premier League, and rightly so, but problems remain that the English marksman will miss two or three glaring chances before he eventually finds the net.

However, if Walcott, who is very susceptible to injury, misses any games like seasons before, Arsenal are left with Giroud.

And whilst the Frenchman is a perfectly able striker on his day, inconsistency proves to be the major issue, with Wednesday's performance far from Arsenal fans have come to deserve or expect - Wenger needs to buy in January, it's simple.

The links to Karim Benzema cease to go away and he would be a fantastic fit for Arsenal. Often overshadowed by the exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez at Real Madrid, Benzema's record is outstanding, scoring 89 goals in 190 games for the Spanish side.

Imagine Benzema, the clinical frontman that he is, playing in front of Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla, all of whom capable of playing an inch-perfect through ball that the France international can run onto. That would turn Arsenal into a frightening outfit.

It's become a necessity for Arsenal, especially given that Wenger's reasoning behind not acquiring attacking reinforcements was because he felt his side already had enough firepower to win the Premier League, with importance now lying in January as to whether Arsenal can deliver and, ultimately, whether Wenger's job will remain safe.

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Topics:
Premier League
Arsenal
Football

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