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Wenger to Press: Striker Help Not Coming In January

According to comments from The Professor picked up by English media outlets, you can probably put all those January transfer rumors to rest. (Probably.)

Meet your likely late-season striker support for Olivier Giroud. Do they look familiar?
Meet your likely late-season striker support for Olivier Giroud. Do they look familiar?
Mike Hewitt

Despite what you might have been hearing and reading about Karim Benzema, Chicharito, Edin Dzeko, Stephen El Shaarawy, and Demba Ba -- who have been "on their way" to Arsenal in January according to various media sources -- it's probably not going to happen, according to two reports published yesterday.

Amy Lawrence at the Guardian and John Cross at the Mirror both built stories from Arsene Wenger's quotes about Theo Walcott's return to the squad after his recent abdominal injury, which seemed to hint that Walcott and Lukas Podolski will be utilized in striker roles this season. Given that Nicklas Bendtner is the only healthy true striker spelling Olivier Giroud right now, and given that Arsenal could go deep into FA Cup and Champions League campaigns, many are expecting that help will come from outside the current squad. Wenger's not necessarily averse to it, but as he told the media, mid-season pickups are hard to pull off.

"Look I am not against it. I don't say I never make a mistake – I certainly made some. It is always difficult in the middle of the season. If somebody is doing well somewhere the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season. Most of the time it is because we didn't find the right player."

And, yet, there was also some acknowledgment that maybe Bendtner's not the answer after all if Giroud does get hurt.

"If we lose Giroud we have nobody with body weight up front apart from Bendtner. I think he has the level but at the moment he doesn't get enough games. And as well, in his head, is he here? Has he planned to go?"

Arsenal is scheduled to play 10 matches between now and New Year's Day, including away matches against Napoli, Manchester City, Cardiff City, West Ham, and Newcastle, and home games against Marseille, Hull, Everton, Chelsea, and Cardiff City. The third round of the FA Cup starts up on January 4, with the fourth round coming January 25.