Arsenal approach the halfway mark of the Premier League without suffering too many causalities when compared to previous seasons, but they still have key squad members in Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo out injured.
The bulk of the team’s scoring burden had been taken over admirably by Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud so far, but with a slew of key fixtures coming up in the new year, the squad needs to be strengthened further to obtain an edge over the stronger teams that could ultimately make or break the Gunners’ season.
Giroud has been the workhorse of the team this season and has tirelessly played in the final third, scoring and setting up goals. But looking at his performances in the last few matches, something feels amiss. He is not as clinical as he needs to be and subsequently, his scoring rate has slowed down considerably. Arsene Wenger needs a quality striker to share the burden with Giroud as neither Lukas Podolski nor Theo Walcott is completely suited to the central role.
It is by no means a blemish on Giroud’s ability that his team needs an extra man to share his goal-scoring duties. The player has been excellent, but it wouldn’t be fair to rely on him completely given the cramped fixture list Arsenal will face in the League, followed in February by the all-important Champions League Round of 16 match against European giants Bayern Munich.
Wenger cannot depend on Ramsey to continue scoring abundantly, but that does not mean the midfielder cannot increase his tally further. A strong center-forward would help his teammates feed off each other and enable them to chip in while not being entirely worried about providing the critical finish – something that an established hitman would easily take care of given Arsenal’s creativity in midfield.
A new impact signing might also lift the morale of the team like Mesut Ozil did after the transfer deadline. This has become all the more critical after the results against Everton and Chelsea, when the team could not take the extra two points they needed to. Ozil’s arrival has given Arsenal the look of a champion, and he could certainly help Wenger in luring another big name to the Emirates.
Arsenal has finished off the season quite strongly in their previous few League campaigns, and a similar performance this time might see them in a position to win it all as opposed to the Champions League spot they were chasing for the last couple of seasons. For all we know, Wenger might surprise us all again come January!