The end of the transfer window is approaching rapidly, and all Arsenal fans are very aware that we have been devastated by defensive injuries for the whole season and, to be honest, we were not defending very well even when we had a fit back line. It seemed inevitable that our situation would get worse and we were devastated when Rob Holding was ruled out for the whole season as well. It is no exagerration to say we have had a defensive crisis all season!
January has even been more unkind to us, with Hector Bellerin also ruled out for the season, after just coming back from a 5-month layoff, and now Sokratis has been confirmed as being unavailable for the next month at least as well. You would have thought that it was obvious that Arsenal would be trying to bring in cover in the back line, but it would appear that were completely wrong, as Emery has now told Arsenal.com when asked about our targets: “..I don’t know exactly which players, but it’s players with the possibility to help us who can play on the wing, right or left.”
And when asked if any defensive signings could be coming in: “It’s the same. I can’t say to you and example, it’s for all the situations. It’s not easy because I don’t want to come here, sign and player and it’s not very clear if he can help us be better than the players we already have in the squad. It’s a difficulties and [there are] other things, but this is one example where we can only bring players that we are very convinced will be able to help us with a good performance.
“We have enough players who can play centre back in the squad. The problem is we’re having a lot of injuries in this position. We have enough players. If we can bring another player, and all the other players we have are well to play, then we could maybe have a problem in the future.”
How can we have a problem in the future? We have Lichtsteiner who was only signed on a one-year contract. We have Koscielny who is much too old and unlikely to be here next season. Nacho Monreal is also ageing and is out of contract in the summer. That leaves the youngster Mavropanos, who has not kicked all ball all season and has only played for us a handful of times, and Shkrodan Mustafi, who is hardly anyone’s favourite choice as our mainstay in defence. We will definitely need more defenders in the summer, so why would it cause a problem if we got someone in now?