Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has been ruled out for six months with a torn knee ligament. The England international is out for the rest of the season with his club, and will most likely miss the World Cup. His injury is a big blow for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who absolutely needs to sign a new player to replace the English winger.
Primarily a winger, Walcott was used as a striker on Saturday against Tottenham in the absence of Olivier Giroud. The England international has often deputized for the French striker and is very comfortable playing upfront. Even though Nicklas Bendtner is an out an out striker, it’s Walcott that has often been chosen when Giroud was unavailable. The injuries of both Walcott and Bendtner puts Wenger in a difficult situation, with only Giroud and Lukas Podolski as strikers.
Signing a new player has become a necessity for Wenger since Walcott’s injury, but instead of signing a winger, the Arsenal boss should sign a striker. Arsenal has enough wingers in their squad and don’t need anymore wide players. Podolski, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Serge Gnabry and even Jack Wilshere are all capable of playing on the wings. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, another winger, should also return from injury soon.
The position Wenger really needs to strengthen is striker. At the moment, Giroud is the only out-and-out striker available in the squad, and should the Frenchman get injured, Podolski would replace him, but the German, like Walcott, is primarily a winger and has very rarely played upfront since he joined the gunners in 2012. Even though Bendtner will be back from injury in four weeks, the Denmark international isn’t a reliable goal-scorer that Arsenal could count on in big games.
Walcott’s injury is a big blow for Arsenal and for England. His pace and directness will be sorely missed by both his club and country, but instead of signing a winger to replace Walcott, Wenger should sign a striker to support Giroud, as Arsenal is getting ready to enter the most decisive part of their season.
Malamine Sane is a soccer writer for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter @Malamino