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Walcott absence ´accelerates´ Wenger´s transfer plans

9 January 2014 17:46

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits Theo Walcott's injury has "accelerated" his need to move into the transfer market.

The England international was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Tottenham in the FA Cup last weekend.

Walcott's absence comes as a huge blow to the league leaders' bid to claim their first Premier League crown since 2003-04.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain only just returning to training following a five-month lay-off with a knee injury and Nicklas Bendtner absent with an ankle issue, Wenger has been left with a depleted squad.

The Frenchman - who was initially coy on his potential involvement in the transfer market - admits he may have to bring in reinforcements to cover Walcott's absence, though he is happy with the options already at his disposal.

Speaking to the club's official website he said: "(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.

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

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
3 2 +4 6
4 2 +2 6
5 2 +1 4
6 2 +1 4
7 2 +1 4

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