Centre-Back A Priority
Arsenal boss Unai Emery admits the club may have to dip into the transfer market next month to sign a new defender.
The Gunners have lost Rob Holding to a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury and with Stavros Mavropanos also sidelined Emery had to turn to Laurent Koscielny in last night’s Europa League victory over Qarabag. The 33-year-old played his first game since he was injured in April.
Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has previously ruled out signing any new players in January. But the side’s injury problems have led to Emery suggesting that there could be one new face at the Emirates next month.
“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” he said.
“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.”
Reports earlier this week claimed the Gunners are being linked with three central defenders. Manchester United’s Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and RealVallaldolid’s Fernando Calero are all being linked.
With a release fee of €11million (£10million) Calero is looking favourite. However, the Gunners face competition for his signature from Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund.