Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Doesn't Wenger need a striker? Sanogo injury leaves Arsenal with Giroud as ONLY fit centre forward at the club


Arsene Wenger's striker shortage has deepened after an injury to Yaya Sanogo left Arsenal with just one fully-fit recognised centre-forward. Sanogo - who as it stands is Arsenal's second-choice centre forward - has returned to the club from France Under-21 duty after picking up a back strain. 

The 20-year-old will undergo intensive treatment at the club's London Colney HQ in attempt to ensure his fitness for the weekend visit to Sunderland - £42million signing Mesut Ozil's debut.

Blow: Yaya Sanogo injured himself on international duty with the France Under 21's

The injury means Olivier Giroud is the club's only fit centre-forward going into Saturday's clash at the Stadium of Light. Sanogo, who arrived from Auxerre in the summer, was viewed as one for the future by Wenger but the club's lack of strikers has pushed him to the fringes of the starting XI. The club's failed attempts to land Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain, Wayne Rooney, Karim Benzema and Demba Ba has left Wenger with a dearth of striking options.

Pressure: Olivier Giroud is now the only fit, recognised striker at the club

Lukas Podolski could fill in for Giroud, but he is out for three months with a hamstring tear, while Nicklas Bendtner - who the club actively tried to sell during the transfer window - is way short of match fitness. Aside from Sanogo, Wenger could look at using Theo Walcott in a central position, while 17-year-old Chuba Akpom could come into contention.

There was better news, however, on the injury front for Wenger with the return of Thomas Vermaelen to full training. The club captain has missed the start of the season due to a lower back problem but resumed light training at the end of last month. But Vermaelen has now stepped up his return from injury and will take part in the majority of Wenger's first-team sessions between now and the end of the week before taking a full part from Monday.

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