Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down the possibility of signing a second player during the January transfer window, instead expressing his desire to have a full squad to choose from. The Gunners have confirmed their first deal of the mercato in the form of Egypt international Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel but with seven players currently out injured there remains the possibility of further players joining the club.
Alexis Sanchez, Tomas Rosicky, David Ospina, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere make up the North Londoners' current treatment list, leaving a gaping hole in their squad as they look to strengthen their position at the summit of the Premier League table. Wenger's selection problems were accentuated by Liverpool's late equaliser in the draw at Anfield, which saw them fall level on points with Leicester City.
Asked about whether Arsenal will make any additional signings in January, Wenger – speaking during a press conference to preview the trip to Stoke City – told reporters: "Ideally personally I would prefer to have the players back from injury like [Danny] Welbeck, who has been out since April last year and is now two-three weeks away. I am confident I would not buy a better player. If you give me the choice I would prefer to have my injured players back and go into the rest of the season with everyone available."
This month marks 10 years since Arsenal signed Theo Walcott as a 16-year-old from Southampton, with the forward having grown into a key player for club and country since arriving in North London. Just six months on from moving to the club, Walcott was included in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup. Wenger was impressed how he dealt with his early fame.
"Walcott came at 16 years of age and went straight to the World Cup without having played a Premier League match, so it could have gone both ways," the Arsenal boss added. "I have to praise him with how he dealt with his feet on the ground. He has had some bad injuries and that makes him stronger today. I believe he has become a much better team player. What I like when I first saw him was his movement off the ball. He has developed as a technical player."