The devastating news that Theo Walcott is out for the season is a potentially crippling blow to Arsenal’s title hopes. Now with the transfer window open, Arsene Wenger has 3 options to consider:
1. Rely on Lukas Podolski. While often injured himself, Podolski is an option despite only having four league appearances so far this season. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can help offset the loss of Walcott, too, with his pending return from a long injury layoff.
2. Trust in Serge Gnabry. Wenger can hope the impressive development of German teenager Gnabry continues this season especially if the French manager can plug him right into Walcott’s spot on the right side of midfield/attack.
3. Go out into the transfer window and find another right-sided midfield.
While Arsenal fans have implored Wenger to spend, I’m of the firm belief that the manager — whose brilliance has once again been on display this season — may opt to just go with that he has in the squad currently. Why? The chemistry and spirit of this season’s Arsenal side has been impressive and having gone through multiple injury crisis already this season, including a prior injury to Walcott, the Gunners have come out the other side just fine, still sitting at the summit of the Premier League.
Many an impatient and intolerant Arsenal fan will demand Arsene Wenger forsake his principles and the formula that has brought the Gunners into the title race in order to offset Walcott’s loss.
Wenger however will make the decision the way he always does, with the bigger picture and the long term economic health of the football club in mind. Unlike other less successful managers who make impulse buys based on injuries that are the spur of the moment, Wenger will make the proper decision for Arsenal.
Walcott’s injury is no doubt a blow to the Gunners title hopes, but it is not the end of the Arsenal’s chances of lifting the Premier League trophy come May. Arsene Wenger has overcome adversity and proven the doubters wrong and very well could do so yet again.
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