Arsenal 2 Hull City 0: Do the Gunners even need to sign a striker in January?

Wenger tried to bring Suarez and Higuain to the Emirates this summer, but with his midfielders in fine goalscoring form he may wish to strengthen elsewhere if at all following an impressive start to the season

Arsenal are flying high at the summit both at home and in Europe after an impressive start to the season. Arsène Wenger’s squad seems to be stronger and able to cope with injuries more so than in recent years with the likes of Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski facing spells out this season.

The outstanding Aaron Ramsey has already scored 13 goals this season in all competitions whilst Olivier Giroud (10), Jack Wilshere (4) and Mesut Özil (4) have also contributed with Podolski, Cazorla, Walcott and Tomáš Rosický likely to chip in with a few this season. Nicklas Bendtner, looking to impress future employers, could also be useful this season providing he does not leave in January. If he does, then Podolski, Walcott or the unproven Yaya Sanogo will be the only striking options available if Giroud suffers an injury.

The Gunners have arguably the best midfield in the Premier League and have been transformed since Mathieu Flamini returned, Özil arrived and Aaron Ramsey hit form to repay Wenger’s faith in him. Özil has helped Wenger to reacquire a transfer market reputation following the sales of Cesc Fàbregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie – to be replaced by seemingly inferior players.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson criticised Wenger’s transfer policy in his new autobiography recently:  “Rosický becomes available, so Arsène takes him, because he’s his type of player. [Andrey] Arshavin becomes available, so in he comes. When you acquire a lot of those players, they are almost clones.”

One of these ‘clones’ has become a fan favourite at the Emirates and rivals Özil as Arsenal’s most intelligent footballer. Rosický adds depth and quality to an already impressive midfield. The Ramsey- Flamini pairing in the middle of the park, selected when Arteta is rested or injured, has transformed Arsenal’s passing whilst Özil has helped Giroud become a serious goal threat.

Wenger tried to bring Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain to the Emirates this summer but Giroud has responded to the pursuit of other strikers by improving in almost every aspect of his game after scoring 17 goals in his debut season.

Wenger can also be pleased with his full-backs this season. Bacary Sagna, seeking a new contract, has been impressive with Carl Jenkinson an able replacement as he showed last night with a good performance and an assist for the opening goal against Hull. In Nacho Monreal the Gunners have arguably the best reserve left-back in Europe. Kieran Gibbs has finally overcome his injury jinx this season to challenge Leighton Baines as the best left-back in the Premier League.

The real issue to resolve in January will be in central defence. Bench warmer and club captain Thomas Vermaelen is the only option at centre-back if Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny suffer an injury. Wenger said recently that it was difficult to leave the Belgian out of his starting line-up because “of his quality, because of his attitude and because of his influence at the club,” and claimed the defender “suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism.”

Wenger does not believe Vermaelen will agitate for a move during the upcoming transfer window but the fear remains that he will do so and leave Arsenal with just two senior centre-backs in the first team squad.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'