Premier League

Wenger in no rush to sign striker

Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal have the firepower.
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Arsene Wenger has admitted it is difficult to find the right players in the January transfer window but stressed that the return to fitness of Theo Walcott means Arsenal are not under extra pressure to buy another striker.

Walcott is available to face former club Southampton on Saturday after spending the past couple of months sidelined by an abdominal problem which needed surgery, while Lukas Podolski is recovering from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since late August and is expected back in action by the end of December.

Olivier Giroud has shouldered the responsibility of leading the line for the Gunners this season, with Nicklas Bendtner their only other fit option up front.

Wenger has faith in Bendtner's ability but accepts that the Denmark international may be thinking of leaving in the New Year.

The Arsenal manager is not worried, though, insisting there will be not be as much urgency to bring in cover for Giroud once Walcott and Podolski are back at his disposal.

Asked if having Walcott and Podolski fit made it less critical to go into the transfer market for a new striker, Wenger said: "Yes, Podolski is not back as well (yet), but he shouldn't be too far now.

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"Theo gives us an opportunity to be a mobile striker. If we lose Giroud today we have nobody with body weight up front, apart from Bendtner.

"I think Bendtner has the level, but at the moment he doesn't get enough games - and as well, in his head, is he here or has he planned to go (in January)?"

Wenger continued: "Theo gives us qualities that other players haven't got, it is a different option.

"We have a lot of players who like to come to the ball, so to have one or two who go behind and create space in the middle, it gives us options to score."

Whether or not Arsenal will move when the transfer window reopens remains to be seen, but Wenger insists it can only be for the "right player".

He added: "I don't say I never make a mistake - I certainly made some, sometimes it is because we didn't sign the right player.

"But it is always difficult in the middle of the season. If somebody is doing well somewhere, the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season.

"Most of the time it is because we didn't find (him)."

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