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Tuesday, August 3, 1999 Published at 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK


Arsenal: The main contenders

Can striker Kanu step into the shoes of the departed Anelka?

Nicolas Anelka's unsettled position at Highbury occupied the headlines for most of the summer but it is the Gunners' growing list of injuries that will be causing Arsene Wenger most concern.

Tony Adams will miss the first month of the season as he recovers from a hernia operation and the back four are also likely to be without the protection of England keeper David Seaman, who has a calf strain.

New defenders Oleg Luzhny and Silvinho are both world class players - but it is only injury which has forced him to break up the legendary partnership of Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Martin Keown and Lee Dixon. Marc Overmars and Denis Bergkamp are also recovering from injury.

Striker light

Once troublesome Anelka was off-loaded, Wenger moved instantly to overheaul his front-line signing Davor Suker from Real Madrid and Juventus' Thierry Henry.

Anelka will not be missed (especially after boosting the coffers by 23m) if Kanu continues the startling form he showed at the end of last season and Croatian Suker shows why he ended last year's World Cup as top scorer.

Wenger knows Arsenal fans are hungry to eclipse rivals Manchester United.

Last season: Second

In:Davor Suker (Real Madrid 3.5m), Thierry Henry (est. 11m), Oleg Luzhny (Dynamo Kiev, 1.8m), Silvinho (Corinthians, 4m), Stefan Malz (Munich 1860, 650,000) Moritz Voltz (Schalke, undisclosed).

Out: N Anelka Fabien Caballero, Kaba Diawara, Remi Garde, Steve Bould, Jason Crowe, Michael Black, Stephen Hughes (loan).



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