For some time now the first choice central defensive pairing for Arsenal was Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. The stature and aerial prowess of the German combined with his experience and reading of the game seemed to perfectly complement the pace, aggression and front foot defending of the Frenchman.
And at 31-years old and having hung up his international boots, there should be problem for the BFG to carry on at the top for a good few years yet. But it has still been looking more and more like Arsene Wenger was thinking about playing Gabriel alongside Koscielny as our first choice pairing, as the Brazilian has that same pace and aggression that is so necessary in the rough and tumble of the Premier League.
According to a Daily Mail report, the Arsenal boss was planning to start them against Manchester United this weekend. Van Gaal´s side now has the pace of Memphis and Martial in their front line and with Mata and Rooney as well, there is no height to worry about.
But we have lost Koscielny to a hamstring problem and that leaves the ponderous Mertesacker and the inexperienced Gabriel to cope with the league leaders. They might not be fantastic but to beat Man United you would think that we would need to avoid the sort of defensive calamities that have been all too frequent in recent times, so could this injury to Koscielny cost us victory over United?
If it does then we head into the international break in a bad frame of mind as well as a bad position in the EPL table.