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Arsenal facing potential striker shortage ahead of Southampton clash

Modified 01 Jan 2015, 14:54 IST
Giroud has been ruled out due to suspension, while Welbeck is an injury doubt

London, Jan 1 (IANS) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is facing a striker crisis ahead of Thursday's clash against Southampton after Danny Welbeck picked up a thigh problem.

With Olivier Giroud suspended, Welbeck was a certainty to play in the lone striker role on New Year's Day. But the England forward is a doubt for the trip to St Mary's, meaning Wenger could be without a recognised striker, according to the Daily Mail. 

Wenger confirmed: "We have one alert after the game at West Ham and that's Danny Welbeck, he could be short for Thursday."

Lukas Podolski looks to be the favourite to play in the striker role if Welbeck fails to prove his fitness, with Theo Walcott only just returning from injury.

And Wenger, who also revealed Aaron Ramsey will not be fit for the trip, has slammed Inter Milan for their offer to sign Podolski. The Serie A club wants to take the Germany international on loan until the end of the season when the transfer window re-opens Friday.

Inter want to pay a 1.5million pound loan fee, but Wenger laughed off the Italians' offer, saying: "That is a joke, Inter Milan are not serious. He's a player of Arsenal Football Club and I want him to stay."

However, Wenger did hint that he could allow Yaya Sanogo to leave on loan in January, admitting that a deal was "not impossible".

Published 01 Jan 2015, 14:35 IST
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