Bendtner comeback means Arsenal will not buy in January
Dane could be back next week as Wenger refuses to panic over striker situation
IT IS not the news that Arsenal fans will have been hoping for, but Nicklas Bendtner's rapid recovery from an ankle injury could mean that Arsene Wenger elects not to buy a new striker this January.
The Dane was expected to be out until the start of next month, but could now return ahead of schedule for the Premier League match at home to Fulham on 18 January.
It is a bittersweet injury bulletin for Gunners fans desperate to see Wenger follow up the £42.5m signing of Mesut Ozil this summer and bring in another big name. But the unpopular Dane's speedy return to fitness and a lack of available options on the market could have dashed their hopes.
Bendtner "has emerged as an important squad player as Arsene Wenger's side attempt to win their first trophy for eight years", says The Times, which adds that his recovery means that the Gunners will not be forced to venture into the transfer market this month.
"Arsenal have no shortage of funds in their transfer kitty, but are focusing on landing a top signing next summer rather than being forced into a panic buy this month," adds the paper.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott's season-ending knee injury has not precipitated the panic that some predicted.
"Although the injury to Theo Walcott has limited Wenger's backup options, he has seldom actually played as a central striker throughout his Arsenal career," notes the Daily Telegraph, playing down concerns of a striker crisis at the Emirates.
"In terms of covering Walcott's position on the right, Serge Gnabry, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are all viable options. It all means that, while deeply disappointed to lose Walcott, Wenger does not feel panicked by the situation and his plans for this January transfer window have not been radically altered."
Another sign of how relaxed Wenger remains over his strikeforce is that he has allowed teenage striker Chuba Akpom to join Brentford on loan, says the Daily Mail.