English Premiership

Injury forces Wenger's hand

2014-01-09 20:20
Arsene Wenger (AFP)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted on Thursday that he has had to reassess his plans for the January transfer window after Theo Walcott succumbed to injury.

England winger Walcott has been ruled out for six months, forcing him out of the World Cup in Brazil, after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Wenger is a notoriously cautious operator in the transfer market, but with his side seeking to defend their position at the top of the Premier League table, he could now move for attacking reinforcements.

"(Walcott's injury) has accelerated speculation first and of course my desire as well, but let's not forget about Serge Gnabry, who can play in the first team," Wenger told the Arsenal website.

"We have (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain back and we have many other players who can play on the flanks, so to find better solutions than what we have internally will not be easy.

"Up front we lose Theo as a potential central forward and that's maybe where we have to look outside. But we hopefully have (Nicklas) Bendtner back (from injury) in three weeks.

"We are there for the opportunities but it's very difficult at the moment."

Wenger said that Walcott, 24, had the requisite mental strength to make a full recovery from his injury, which he sustained during Arsenal's 2-0 victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup last weekend.

"Theo is handling it as well as you can when you have had such a shock because he's mentally strong, he's very balanced as a person and he can put it into perspective," the Frenchman said.

"We know that he will have the dedication and the serious attitude to come back as strong as ever."

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