Times of Oman
Nov 26, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 09:32 AM GMT
Football: Arsenal can still thrive without Giroud, says Wenger
August 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger arrives for the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play-off second-leg football match between Arsenal and Besiktas' at the Emirates Stadium in London. Photo - AFP

London: Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can still challenge for the Premier League title even if they fail to sign a stand-in for injured France striker Olivier Giroud.

Giroud has been ruled out until the New Year with a broken tibia suffered in the final moments of last weekend's 2-2 draw at Everton.

The injury deprives Wenger of his first-choice forward in a position where his squad is short of experienced cover, with youngster Yaya Sanogo and Chile international Alexis Sanchez, who often plays on the flanks, the main alternatives.

Gunners manager Wenger admits he will be monitoring the transfer market until the window closes on Monday and is willing to spend if the right player becomes available.

But the Frenchman, responding to the widely-held belief that Arsenal will fade from contention unless they strengthen up front, claims he is not in a position where he must buy.

"Of course we can be successful. Why not? The success of the season does not depend one player that you buy or not," Wenger said on Friday.

"If I give you the number of strikers we have at the moment, it's absolutely unbelievable. We have Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski.

"Giroud will be back during the season and Joel Campbell can play centre-forward as well.

"We've shown in the last two seasons that when we think money has to be spent, we do it. But we want to do it in the right way.

"I will be on alert until the last minute of the transfer deadline."

Wenger believes if any suitable targets become available, his experience of doing business on deadline day should prove helpful.

He landed the shock signing of Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil in a club record £42 million ($69 million) move from Real Madrid 12 months ago and, two years prior to that, Spanish midfielder Mikel
Arteta was among three players signed in a last-gasp flurry of deals.

"It's harder to buy top, top players because many clubs are on the market and everybody knows each other," Wenger said.

"The last few days are poker games. There are a lot of lies there and everyone is interested in the same player, even if you're the only one who wants the player.

"Of course (having experience of operating late in the window helps). You can call it bluff when it's bluff."

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