Jack Wilshere has claimed that Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title this season without signing another striker in January, as long as they keep Olivier Giroud fit.
The Gunners have depended on Giroud to lead the attack this season, and with Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo currently out injured, the Frenchman’s fitness is certainly being tested having only just returned from injury earlier this month.
Giroud has considerably improved on his performances last year, having scored 12 goals in all competitions with nine of those coming in the Premier League. Fans and analysts have called for manager Arsene Wenger to bring in another striker to not only strengthen their title credentials but to also give Giroud a rest, having played in all but two of their league matches this season.
Arsenal have been linked with both Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham and Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid, while reports on Monday morning suggest Wenger is in talks to take Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic on loan until the end of the season.
Wilshere, who is currently going through his own purple patch with three assists and a goal in four matches, believes that while Berbatov is a good player, they can cope without bringing in a new striker.
Speaking after the 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, Wilshere said: “He's (Berbatov) a great player. He has played for Manchester United. Players who don't have ability don't play for Man United.
“But he is a Fulham player so I can't talk about him. We have Olivier, who has been great for us this season. If we can keep him fit we have a chance.
“People underestimate our squad. We have a lot of talent in there. Look at the bench - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays for England, Podolski, Vermaelen isn't even on there because he's injured.
“We have to rotate sometimes and we do. Mikel comes in and I go out or to the right and that is important. If we are going to win the championship that is what we are going to have to do.”
Arsenal face Coventry City in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night, meaning they will have an extra day’s rest than their next Premier League opponent’s Southampton, who host Yeovil on Saturday before welcoming the Gunners to St Mary’s on Tuesday 28 January.