Wenger to be backed in window

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will reportedly be given substantial transfer funds following the loss of Theo Walcott to injury.

Last Updated: 07/01/14 at 14:05 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Hit by the injury to Theo Walcott

Arsene Wenger: Hit by the injury to Theo Walcott

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will reportedly have the full backing of majority owner Stan Kroenke and the board should he wish to make any major moves in the January transfer window following the loss of England forward Theo Walcott for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The Gunners confirmed their worst fears late on Monday following tests and specialist consultations, which revealed the 24-year-old would need surgery following anterior cruciate ligament damage sustained when making a defensive tackle during the closing stages of the third-round FA Cup win over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium.

The club have rallied behind Walcott, who is expected to undergo an operation next week once the swelling on his left knee has eased, with messages of support flooding in from fans and fellow professionals alike.

Wenger, though, must immediately turn his attention on how to accommodate for the loss of Walcott, who was a potent weapon in the Arsenal attack and had netted five goals since his return from a stomach injury.

Forward options for the Barclay Premier League leaders were already depleted, as Nicklas Bendtner will need several weeks to fully recover from the ankle injury he picked up while scoring a late goal in the 2-0 win over Cardiff on New Year's Day while France Under-21 international Yaya Sanogo, a free summer signing, has only now stepped up his rehabilitation from a back problem.

Olivier Giroud missed the Spurs match because of illness after shaking off a minor ankle injury, and remains Arsenal's lead attacker.

While the loss of Walcott is clearly a blow, the emergence of German 18-year-old Serge Gnabry, who set up the opening goal against Spurs, and imminent return to full fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at least give Wenger some ready-made cover on the right side.

However, how best to offer direct support to French striker Giroud will now be key for Wenger as Arsenal look to last the distance in the race for honours through to May.

Fit-again Lukas Podolski offers another option, although the German striker was somewhat subdued when deployed in a central role against Cardiff, while club-record signing Mesut Ozil can provide telling back-up behind the main forward.

Although Wenger concedes a big-money signing during January is notoriously difficult to push through, it is understood American owner Kroenke and the rest of the Emirates Stadium board would sanction raiding some of the club's substantial cash reserves should the manager identify the right calibre of player.

Atletico Madrid frontman Diego Costa certainly fits that bill having impressed in La Liga, but would also come with a hefty £32million-plus price tag even if the Spanish club - who are joint top of the table and in the last 16 of the Champions League - were to consider selling, which appears unlikely.

Although Wenger appeared to play down the possibility, veteran Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov would provide a cut-price short-term solution, with the former Tottenham and Manchester United man likely to be available for under £5million if the Cottagers were open to offers. Lazio's Miroslav Klose, 35, would also provide the experienced cover required, with the German forward out of contract in the summer.

Promising 21-year-old Alvaro Morata is another stop-gap loan option, although Real Madrid have always maintained a reluctance to let him leave despite somewhat limited current first-team opportunities at the Bernabeu.

Walcott, meanwhile, will be given all the support needed as he begins what is expected to be a long road back to full match-fitness.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson revealed the 24-year-old was remaining positive, despite the double blow of also now missing out on the chance to play for England at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

"I did text him to say how well he played (against Tottenham) and that we were thinking of him and - as you'd expect because he's such a good guy - I got a very, very positive response," Wilson said on Sky Sports News.

"It wasn't a long message, but the main line coming through was 'I will get through this'.

"He is a positive lad still in his early 20s, and you think of Aaron Ramsey with the career-threatening injury he had (a broken leg in 2010) and how well he has come through.

"I know the treatment he will get and all the positivity he has. We wish him well."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is brilliant! All these years of moral ambiguity, grey areas of offence and context..now we have a simple, easy to follow guide to right and wrong. What did you do today? I kicked the face off a panda . Oh well, you didn't rape, kill anyone or abuse a minor, knock yourself champ.

megabrow (cufc)
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

I

wonder if he'd feel the same way if he wasn't a white, non-jewish heterosexual male. Because Mackay has basically insulted everyone else!

Jay_D
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

C

heers Harry. I was wondering if he'd murdered anyone

Ezy_Rider
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

Footer 365

England boss Roy Hodgson sets his sights on winning Euro 2016

Roy Hodgson has put England's awful World Cup display behind him and has set his sights on winning Euro 2016.

Malky Mackay apologises for offensive texts while Cardiff manager

Malky Mackay has issued an official apology for sending offensive text messages during his time as Cardiff manager.

Dutch Eredivisie: Ajax v PSV preview

Ajax hope to steal a march on title rivals PSV when the two sides clash at the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday, live on Sky.

Mail Box

More Fan Mail For Football365...

'Just p*ss off with your righteous indignation will you. W*nkers.' There's a lot of anger going around for what should have been a sleepy Friday afternoon at F365 Towers...

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property