Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger Right to Play It Cool in Striker Hunt

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2014

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger waits for the start of a Champions League, group F soccer match between Arsenal and Napoli, at the Naples San Paolo stadium, Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

Among the most hotly discussed topics at the Emirates Stadium this season has been Arsenal's forward line and its need of reinforcements.

The Gunners' reliance on Olivier Giroud this season caused some concern over the depth among Arsene Wenger's striker reserves, but the re-emergence of a once-forgotten Nicklas Bendtner has helped ease that burden of late.

However, injuries to both those attackers, not to mention the season-ending injury suffered by Theo Walcott earlier this month, have played their role in mounting pressure upon the club to make moves in the January window.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

However, The Independent's Samuel Stevens reports Wenger as seeing positives where others might not, and with no evidence of panic and just over a week of the winter window left:

Ideally if it's possible we'd like another striker. I'll give you my phone number, if you find an exceptional (player), you can call me over the weekend. Ideally, though we have not found anyone.

We are open to strengthening our squad if it's possible. But as well we have Bendtner back in the squad on Monday. Sanogo is back in the squad on Monday week. But for us, it's important to know everybody can score. Ramsey is a goalscorer and he's not playing at the moment. Arteta can get us a goal and he's not playing. That's very positive, I think.

That's the best thing that can happen for us. If you depend on one player then you have to put him in cotton wool to keep him fit.

It's an all-too-typical response from the Arsenal chief who refuses to bend to the will that others and is instead remaining true to the beliefs that have at least got him this far in the job.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Wenger isn't exactly dealing with the bare essentials. Right now, Giroud is fit, and as is suggested, the Frenchman could soon have both Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo to look toward for cover.

In a way, Arsenal are blessed in their thriving midfield ranks, which, thanks to the formation deployed by Wenger, require only one out-and-out striker in the setup. It's worked wonders for the side so far this term, with the North Londoners currently sitting at the Premier League summit, one point ahead of Manchester City.

Having just spent £42.5 million on Mesut Ozil's acquisition over the summer, one might see where Wenger sees it as right to splurge.

The temptation is there to plump for a big name now or even risk a sizable sum on a forward who would provide little more than cover.

But as the old cliche goes, there's no need in fixing what isn't broken, and Wenger's machine would appear to be one of the well-oiled variety at the moment.

The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson says that a winter purchase is unlikely:

Whereas Manuel Pellegrini, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho all have a number of star strikers in their squads, Arsenal's season is evidence that one can rely on other outlets outside the normal parameters for good goal tallies.

After all, Mourinho's stuttering trio of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have shown that throwing big names into a pot doesn't instantly make for a potent brew.

In a fashion that reeks of the Arsenal style, and not necessarily in a bad way, the English giants could well persevere with Giroud, Bendtner and Sanogo—one proven asset, one would-be superstar and one untested hopeful—for the remainder of the campaign.

Bendtner has been in surprisingly strong form this season.
Bendtner has been in surprisingly strong form this season.Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Granted, another injury crisis hitting the squad would prove such faith in the squad wrong, but Wenger isn't one to rest his season on ifs and buts.

Maintaining pace across three competitions will prove nigh impossible if Giroud is used as a sole striking outlet, but the rotation of those already around him may yet stage a few surprises.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

This, of course, isn't to say a new face in attack wouldn't go astray, but to say that it is needed might be taking Arsenal's recruitment priorities a step too far.

For now, Wenger's calm disposition toward the matter will help put onlookers at ease regarding his club's end-of-season run-in, where recovering resources and their ongoing health are set to play as big a part in this campaign's tale as ever.


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