Arsenal and England fans will not meet the news of Theo Walcott’s long-term injury kindly.
After a further medical assessment, the club broke the news yesterday that the English winger had a ruptured anterior ligament in his left knee. Walcott was stretchered off the field in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Early indications suggested the injury was not severe, however upon further examination the scans show the full extent of the damage. The injury means Walcott will be out for six months, missing the rest of the season and ruling him out of the Word Cup in Brazil.
This is a devastating blow, not just for Arsenal fans but also for Arsene Wenger. The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League table, with Manchester City and Chelsea hot on their heels. Walcott’s injury has come at the worse possible timing. Leading man Olivier Giroud may still be unavailable until next week and Nicklas Bendtner is also ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.
Fortunately, Arsenal find themselves in the midst of the January transfer window. Initially Wenger did not see the need to purchase another striker to support and take the pressure off Giroud as he saw Walcott, Bendtner and Lukas Podolski could provide the necessary cover. The latest injury blows should leave the manager with no option but to dive in and fish out another centre forward.
Arsenal have been closely linked with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa. The Brazilian has scored 19 La Liga goals in 17 appearances, making him the top scorer – even above Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems that this signing would be extremely worthwhile and would greatly spur Arsenal onwards in their title glory hopes, despite Madrid’s attempts to quash the rumours.
Other names that have cropped up these past few months are Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez, Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko, Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic and Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov. Although these names seem unlikely it is vital Arsenal bring in a striker as soon as possible.
With Costa echoing on fan’s lips, it is now up to Wenger and the board to show us just how much they want to win this title and end their 8-year run without a trophy. They will know and must be prepared to face overpaying for whomever they bring in. However, whilst the likes of Costa will hold a hefty price tag, winning the league is priceless.