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Prem Preview: Title challenge needed

Arsenal
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BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

2015/2016 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
1 Arsenal 0 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0 0
3 Bournemouth 0 0 0 0
View Full Table »

Hull sign Akpom on loan

Transfers
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Walcott: I'd welcome new Arsenal faces

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has insisted he would welcome the arrival of new attacking talent at the club in the January transfer window, even though it may restrict his ambitions to lead the line for the Gunners.

• Delaney: Force over finesse
• Bendtner faces weeks out
• McNicholas: Arsenal avoid hangover

Injuries to Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner appeared to open the door for Walcott in the central striking role he has long craved at Arsenal, yet manager Arsene Wenger has hinted me may be tempted to move for a ‘specialist’ striker in the transfer window.

Walcott has backed his manager to try and attract new faces in the next few weeks, but he admitted it may be tough to do the right kind of business mid-way through the season.

“The boss has already said that he is looking for special players and we have got a lot of special players in that dressing room [already],” Walcott said.

“It is always nice to have competition with players coming in, but January is such a difficult period in the transfer market to get players in, especially the top players. To be fair, that is for the manager to decide if he wants to go out and buy anyone and whoever comes in will make the club stronger anyway.”

Theo Walcott holds off Declan John.
Theo Walcott would be happy should Arsenal dip into the transfer market in January.

Walcott feels belief is growing steadily among the Arsenal ranks, with the never-say-die attitude of his teammates the most impressive quality of the current crop.

“If you want to win titles then you have got to go to the end and the thing about this team at the moment is that we never give up,” Walcott said. “Every game that we win the belief gets stronger and stronger.”

Meanwhile, Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere believes the Premier League title race is now about to enter a crucial phase, after all the leading contenders were victorious on New Year’s Day.

“It’s very open,” Wilshere told the club’s official website. “We saw City win and then Chelsea and Liverpool also won so we just have to keep winning ourselves.

“We just have to worry about ourselves, we can’t worry about anyone else, but there is still a long way to go, teams are going to drop points.

“This is the tough part of the season -- January, February and March -- and then it comes into April and towards the end, so we have to focus on ourselves and our own form. Our away form has been brilliant, so we have to make the Emirates a fortress.”

Wenger is hopeful of having Giroud available for the FA Cup third round clash with local rivals Tottenham on Saturday, but he has doubts over a string of players who are struggling with knocks after the hectic festive period.

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