Unai Emery has revealed that he may be forced to add a centre-back to his squad during the January transfer window period.
The Spaniard is short of options in the centre-back department going into the game against Southampton on Sunday with Laurent Koscielny the only fit and recognized player fully capable of playing in this position.
Koscielny, 33, has been missing for the Gunners since May following a serious Achilles injury but is expected to start tonight’s Europa League match against Qarabag.
Emery will be hoping Koscielny gets through the match unscathed as he already has Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos injured, while Shkodran Mustafi is struggling with a hamstring problem and Sokratis suspended.
Only Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal can fill the holes left in the centre-back position, and this could be a concern for Emery moving forward.
Emery has since admitted that he could look to recruit a defender when the transfer window opens next month:
“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option.
“The transfer (window) is not easy…Koscielny is coming back and for the team it’s very important he is coming back.
“Then we are going to wait and see how Mavropanos is improving with his injuries, because he is also a centre-back who can help us. Another option we can play with two, with three, Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner can play in this position. I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”
Several centre-back have already been linked with a move to the Emirates next month, including Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Real Valladolid’s Fernando Calero, and it will come to no surprise if other names are added to the list in the upcoming days.