Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training but Ray Parlour argues he can't replace Theo Walcott at Arsenal.Reuters

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have returned to training for Arsenal after spending four months on the sidelines with a knee injury but club favourite Ray Parlour believes that Arsene Wenger should still enter the transfer market as he seeks to replace Theo Walcott.

Walcott was ruled out for six months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, meaning he will miss the rest of the season as well as the 2014 World Cup.

Chamberlain will likely be utilised by Wenger as a replacement and with the 20 year old continuing to recover and get back to match fitness his return couldn't come at a better time for Wenger.

But Parlour says he will not fill the hole left by Walcott, particularly as the youngster isn't yet at his best, and Arsenal need to find more reinforcements if they hope to stay top of the table until the end of the season.

The former Gunner told Sky Sports: "Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is an obvious replacement - he also plays well centrally in a midfield three, he's a real talent - but Theo was just starting to click into form.

"I'm sure Arsene Wenger will take a look at that position because Oxlade-Chamberlain has been out for a long period of time.

"Cruciate injuries are pretty common - I played with Robert Pires who had it in our unbeaten season. You just have to get through it - coming back from an injury like that is a lonely road - you're on your own, with a fitness instructor every day. You see the lads going off to train and you can't be involved so it's going to be a long period for Theo."

But Parlour acknowledged the difficulties of signing players in the mid-season, explaining: "The big question now is who's available (to sign) - I don't think managers really like doing business in the January window - they prefer to get players in during pre-season and bed them into the team.

"The likes of Dimitar Berbatov have been mentioned - he's in the last year of his contract at Fulham and Arsenal could probably get him on the cheap - that might be an option.

"People talk about Diego Costa - he's having a great season at Atletico Madrid. I think he's got a €40m clause in his contract. But then Atletico are going really well in La Liga and in the Champions League so whether they'd want to let players go, we'll have to wait and see."