Walcott had got a chance to play in his favoured central strikers role against Spurs and had impressed in Arsenal's 2-0 victory. The club will have to plan for the rest of the season without him though and their striking options are shrinking by the day. With Bendtner already ruled out for a month the pressure on Olivier Giroud to stay fit will become even more intense with only Lukasz Podolski as an alternative to the big Frenchman.
Giroud has been impressive in his second season with the club but he is not a prolific goalscorer. He has plenty of other attributes though which are very important to the team and his continued fitness is now of utmost importance. Walcott is a different type of player to Giroud and so is Podolski with Bendtner being the player most similar to him.
Walcott probably wouldn't have played as a striker too often for the rest of the season as long as Giroud stayed fit, but his injury lessens Arsenal's options which could be very damaging. Walcott has played on the right hand side of the Arsenal attacking trio for the most part and he has become a very important member of the team in that position. With his season over Arsenal have to find a player who can add the goals and assists from that position to help them continue their challenge on three fronts.
Serge Gnabry impressed in that position against Spurs but he is still very much inexperienced and it would be a huge task to expect him to take Walcott's place. Santi Cazorla has played on the left of the attacking trio in recent weeks and he could probably switch to the right with Podolski playing on the left where he has played his best football for the club. Cazorla is equally adept with either foot and can certainly play on the right, but he doesn't have the speed or directness of Walcott.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should make his return from a long injury lay off very soon and he's another player who can play in Walcott's position. He certainly has the speed and directness needed and he can't return quick enough for me. None of those players really offer a genuine alternative to Giroud though and it can be argued that Walcott didn't either. To be honest Arsenal really needed to bring in another striker in the transfer window, but the injury to Walcott could be the factor which pushes Arsene Wenger into buying a striker.
His biggest problem will be identifying his target and then trying to convince that player's club to sell half way through the season. It's never easy to find the players needed for any club, but the task becomes a lot harder in the January transfer window with so many clubs vying for the few players available. If Arsenal are to continue to challenge on all three fronts their ability to sign a proven goalscorer this month could be crucial to their chances.
Hopefully they can do just that and continue to challenge in the Premier League while progressing through the rounds in the FA Cup before they take on the holders over two legs in the Champions League. Walcott will have to watch it all from the sidelines as he recovers from the surgery he is due to have and he will miss out on playing in the World Cup for England too. It's a huge blow for him and hopefully it's one he can come back from and find the form he has shown for Arsenal again. He had already missed a fair deal of this season through injury, but his return to the team had seen him score five goals in six games. I'm not sure any of the other players who might replace him can score as much as he can and I hope it won't affect the teams chances of silverware.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.