Arsenal on verge of striker injury crisis

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Football News

Arsenal's failure to recruit another centre-forward in the summer transfer window is one injury away from coming back to bit them in the backside.

According to the Daily Mail, summer free transfer Yaya Sanogo has returned to the Gunners' training ground from France Under-21 duty with a back strain and is a major doubt for the Premier League clash at Sunderland on Saturday.

With Lukas Podolski out injured for the next two months and Nicklas Bendtner nowhere near full fitness, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has Olivier Giroud as the only fit senior centre-forward at his disposal.

The danger of Giroud picking up an injury when the transfer window closed was oft repeated and Wenger would see it as ill fortune were it to become a problem so soon.

Sanogo will reportedly undergo "intensive treatment" to try and get him ready for Saturday, as he is now seen as the only viable option to deputise for his compatriot. Despite being signed on a free transfer as one for the future, the 20-year-old has seen himself become the de facto second choice striker following the injury to Podolski.

Bendtner was on the verge of leaving the club on transfer deadline day, but Arsenal pulled the plug after failing to secure a replacement and he may be called upon to stand in for Giroud at times once he has returned to full fitness.

If Sanogo does not make it back, Wenger's options other than Giroud could be to play Theo Walcott through the middle, though that was tried last season without great success, to he may be force to call upon academy product Chuba Akpom - the 17-year-old is highly rated but is far from being ready for the first team.

Premier League

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