Arsenal fans still seem to be mourning Arsene Wenger’s decision not to sign a new striker during the transfer window, which may have effectively killed off our title hopes.
That reality was further compounded by the news that Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery and will be missing for ‘a period of months’ according to the club (via Arsenal.com).
While Olivier Giroud lacks the pace to hurt defences and Theo Walcott doesn’t possess the stature to lead the line, Welbeck seemed the best option for us given that he possesses both qualities.
However, without him, Wenger should revisit the plan he originally had when he signed Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona last summer.
“He is a striker and he’s a good finisher,” Wenger was quoted as saying (via ESPN).
We’ve seen Alexis in that role, but the boss has been reluctant to use the Chilean there for an extended period in order for us to determine whether that’s a viable option or not.
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Alexis lacks presence, but his robust nature and supreme technical qualities can cause defenders problems no end, especially with his sensational leap giving him an advantage in the air.
Our top scorer last season, there is no debating regarding the 26-year-old’s pedigree in front of goal and moving him central should be the focus for Wenger.
It remains natural that Alexis would drift into midfield on occasions in order to receive the ball, which makes the role of Walcott imperative.
Wenger should abandon his obsession in trying to position Walcott as a lone striker and, instead, place him on the right where his runs off the ball are dangerous.
In our home game against Hull City last season as we started our defence of the FA Cup, the combination of Alexis as a central striker and Walcott coming in from the right worked well.
By playing those two in the front three, we keep our ability to attack the spaces in behind a defence while also possessing a centre-forward capable of receiving the ball and integrating into our collective game.
In order to keep the balance of the side, Wenger may look to play a midfielder on the opposite flank, with Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere capable of fulfilling that role.
Wenger has failed to adapt in terms of our transfer dealings, but the boss has a chance to redeem himself on the training ground.