Chelsea's title fate depends on star striker addition

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Since Premier League Arsenal leaders lost speed demon Theo Walcott to a season-ending knee injury last weekend speculation surrounding the January pursuit of a star striker at the Emirates has gone into overdrive, but title rivals Chelsea have far more reason to be in the same chase in terms of quality rather than numbers.

Arsenal and the Blues have been linked with a clutter of Europe's most promising central strikers in the last few weeks, with the likes of Diego Costa, Gonzalo Higuain, Jackson Martinez and Radamel Falcao strongly mentioned in connection with a move to the Premier League.

The Gunners look more desperate on the surface for new forwards before the transfer window closes, with Walcott joining Nicklas Bendtner on the sidelines, but in Olivier Giroud they have a poacher who has bagged more goals than Chelsea's three loan front men combined.

Giroud has eight goals in 18 Premier League games so far this season, all while Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have seven in total between them.

The Blues remain just two points behind the Gunners despite facing the realistic prospect of failing to have a striker in double figures come May, which begs the question what position would Mourinho's men be in with a proven performer leading the line?

Mourinho has consistently stated that he trusts the misfiring trio despite Torres largely toiling and Eto'o enduring a lean spell despite consistently starting, while Ba cuts a frustrated figure largely on the periphery in West London.

Arsenal meanwhile may be short in numbers but have a spirit which has stood up to be counted when called upon this season, although Aaron Ramsey is the only player to match Giroud's output in terms of strike rate.

With the title race so evenly poised both London clubs must surely be acutely aware of the need to tilt the balance in their favour, particularly with a star-studded Manchester City squad looking frighteningly formidable in the final third so far this term.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger looks reluctant to spend big in the middle of the campaign and may be content to rely on a combination of Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to fill Walcott's void, which should put Chelsea on red alert for a new hitman.

The Blues have rarely been shy in recruiting top talent at inflated prices during the last decade and should not be persuaded to change that stance now, despite Mourinho bemoaning City's superior options in all positions.

Landing either Higuain, Costa or Martinez in the next three weeks would surely have to make the Blues title favourites once again, giving Stamford Bridge the kind of lift Arsenal enjoyed early in the campaign when Mesut Ozil left Real Madrid.

Add Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian into the mix and Chelsea are more than likely one more luxury addition away from bringing the Premier League title back to West London in May.

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