Arsene Wenger must make the recruitment of a top class striker a priority in the January transfer window.
That’s according to Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn, who believes the Emirates manager must strengthen his firepower options to maintain a title charge.
The deficiency in the Gunners strike force was highlighted in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat in the Premier League at Manchester United.
Desperately searching for a leveller after Robin Van Persie had given David Moyes’ men a first half lead, Wenger threw on out-of-sorts Nicklas Bendtner late on.
It brought into the spotlight the fact that Wenger can’t call on a top-notch replacement for Olivier Giroud if he is fatigued or gets injured.
The defeat means Arsenal stay top of the pile two points clear of second-place Liverpool and still a healthy five points ahead of United.
But Winterburn wants the Emirates outfit to bring in a new forward so the Gunners’ title tilt isn’t derailed.
Former Gunners left-back Winterburn said: “One key area which I think everyone is debating is the centre forward role. Giroud is having to do a lot of work, without a rest, so it’s hard work for him. I would like to think that they may try and bring someone in, whether that will be a permanent signing or a loan signing.”
One school of thought suggests Wenger will use either Theo Walcott or Lukas Podolski as striker options when they return from injury.
But Winterburn isn’t so sure this would offer them the strength they need with the remainder of the campaign ahead of them.
He added: “If you get the likes of Walcott back, Podolski back, then the bench is looking completely different. You’ve got a lot more midfield and attacking options. I don’t know Wenger’s thinking about them coming back, and if they can fill that role, but they are completely different to Giroud.
“The way Arsenal play you need that good link-up striker. I just feel that a centre forward would be the main objective for Arsenal, to cover Giroud if he loses a bit of form or gets fatigued. I think that’s very important.”