Arsene Wenger’s injury woes could be subsiding as the Arsenal boss prepares to welcome back a number of key players over the next few weeks. While Mesut Ozil’s injury has taken the shine of a promising start to the season, Arsenal fans have been comforted with the knowledge that the likes of Theo Walcott and Serge Gnarby are closing in on a return to action, and could even play this weekend according to a report in today’s Metro. Currently well placed near the top of the table, having important players back at his disposal will give Wenger plenty of confidence of still being in touch with the Premier League betting favourites by the time the January transfer window opens.
The biggest boost to Wenger will be having Theo Walcott back in contention after a 10-month injury lay-off. Walcott has been sidelined since January with the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in the 2-0 FA Cup third round victory over Tottenham. The injury not only robbed Arsenal of one of their key players for the second half of last season, but also England had to rearrange their plans for last summer’s World Cup without Walcott. In both cases, the forward’s absence was clearly felt and Wenger and Roy Hodgson will be delighted to see Walcott closing in on a return to action.
Walcott has been one of Arsenal’s best players over the past two years, proving to everyone he is more than capable of playing in a more attacking and central role. Before suffering his injury last season, Walcott had been scoring and creating goals on a regular basis and the loss of such an in-form player certainly didn’t help the Gunners’ title bid. While it may take the 25-year old some time to get himself fully fit, Arsenal will know that having Walcott back will add a whole new dimension to their already exciting attacking unit.
More good news has come Wenger’s way as German midfielder Serge Gnabry has also returned to training after recovering from a knee injury picked up in April. The teenager burst on the scene last year and many expected the winger to go on and establish himself in the first team squad. The injury in April derailed those plans, however, and the 19-year old will now be looking to make up for lost time when he eventually returns to full training. Nacho Monreal is also back training after a month out with a back injury. The 28-year-old’s return comes at the right time for Wenger, adding some options for him in defence with Laurent Koscielney facing a spell on the sidelines with chronic tendinitis in both Archilles tendons.
Arsenal’s defence has been threadbare since the beginning of the season and hasn’t been helped with Mathieu Debucy now set to miss three months with an ankle injury suffered last month. While signing some defenders will be at the top of Wenger’s ‘to do’ list in January, the question is whether the current options available to the Arsenal boss are enough to keep the club in the title race by the time the Frenchman is able to strengthen.