Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned he cannot offer guarantees of a place in the starting XI to any of his strikers. For the first time in years, Wenger has quality attacking options with Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez all in contention for a starting spot.
That competition has caused Germany international Lukas Podolski to reassess his future at the Emirates as he is getting frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities, but Wenger insists that is all part and parcel of competition at a leading club.
“You can only select 11 players. We have an abundance of offensive players at the moment,” said Wenger. “Some of them do not get the chance to play, and it is frustrating for them, which I can understand. Unfortunately you always (have to) make a decision on that front.”
Asked whether Giroud, back in contention following three months out with a broken leg, faced a battle to regain his position, Wenger said:
“There is always a fight because we have a lot of offensive options. Welbeck can play in different positions up front and there is room for both of them to start in some games. Of course it is a fight.”
Wenger suggested there would be no concessions made on who was to be the leading forward.
“One of the main reasons (Welbeck signed) was that he wanted to play. We spoke about that and that was one of the main reasons why he came here. (To play as a central striker) was not a condition, it was just that he plays,” he said. “You have goalscoring records which are absolutely outstanding from players who play wide or central, that is not the problem. When you are a player, you want to play.”
When everyone is fit it will be interesting to see what trio Wenger starts. But the possibility of facing the speed of Walcott, Welbeck and Sanchez together will terrify most defenders in the Premier League.