ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger believes he now has the best batch of attacking players since Thierry Henry’s time in north London.
The Gunners have scored 47 Premier League goals this season, behind only Chelsea (55) and Manchester City (51), with Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck providing 35 of those between them.
Henry returned to a coaching role at the Emirates Stadium on Friday, and Wenger believes his current line-up is the first to hold a candle to former greats like the Frenchman, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas.
“A prolific Premier League attack should score between 70 to 100 goals in a season,” he told reporters. “We are not there yet, but this attack is our best since Thierry Henry’s days – this one has the most potential since then.
“This weekend is the first time we have been able to line them up all together, so we are yet to see what they are capable of achieving.
“Giroud’s style is less elegant than strikers before him like Robin van Persie, but he has progressed a lot and he is now a complete striker because he has added decisive passes to his game. He works for the team more than most players who contribute that many goals.”
Jack Wilshere is in contention for the Gunners’ game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and Wenger says it is a boost to have the midfielder available for selection again, even if there are lingering concerns about unsettling his in-form side.
“No matter who plays, you always worry about the balance of the team,” he added. “If you look at Santi, for example, until now he has maybe been our most consistent player and, since he moved centrally, he has increased his influence as well.
“In Cazorla and Ozil, Welbeck and Sanchez, it is a very offensive team and that means if you take one out and put Jack in it is exactly the same.
“Jack is an offensive player, someone who can turn the game forward and win the ball. And that’s his game.
“He can play wide so that means he can play on the right, on the left and in the middle, and with those positions there is fierce competition as well. But when you look at our scheduling over the next month I’m happy with that as he will get games. He is exactly the same player as he was before he was injured.”