Walcott Injury Means Wenger Will Now Be Forced to Buy, Rather Than Choose to

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal is stretchered off the pitch during the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on January 4, 2014 in London, England. at Emirates Stadium on January 4, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The disastrous news that Theo Walcott will miss the remainder of the season, per the club's official website, has once again raised questions over Arsene Wenger's transfer activity. It is often a buzz topic amongst English football fans to point fingers at Wenger's signings—whether good or bad.

People will have demanded Wenger strengthen the squad way before this crucial blow—and whether they were right or not is now something that has become a moot point. The need for Wenger to recruit has now been enhanced to a point where he will be forced to recruit, whether he really wants to or not.

Of course, the main talking point for recruitment in terms of Arsenal remains in attack. Whilst Olivier Giroud has had a good first half to the season—despite somewhat of a lean patch of late—he still appears to be carrying the weight of the strike force on his own.

The one thing Arsenal had in reserve was their utility forwards. Lukas Podolski is a man who can operate out wide as well as in attack—but Walcott was starting to emerge as a serious striking option for Arsenal in recent weeks.

Five goals since his return from stomach surgery earlier in the season suggested Wenger may have been put off panic buying in January and investing faith in his squad depth.

The question is, will Wenger now be tempted into a like-for-like replacement for the England international—or will he go out and purchase a big money striker?

The potential option to replace Walcott could well be on his doorstep, in truth—Serge Gnabry seems like a player who has now fully emerged as a first-team player at the Emirates and could have a golden opportunity on his hands to cement a role in the squad.

Players such as Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also surely have an input in the rest of Arsenal's season, meaning an out-and-out striker could be on the radar. Names such as Diego Costa will be mooted, but Wenger—like always—will keep his cards close to his chest.

Wenger may well have had options in his mind way before this injury to Walcott, in truth. However, Arsenal's attack looks even more threadbare now than it did before this injury—and his hand will surely now be forced in this January transfer window.