Arsenal’s new signing Mathieu Debuchy has suffered significant ligament damage that will rule him out for at least three months. The right back, who joined from Newcastle United in the summer, was stretchered off during Arsenal’s last game (2-2) against Manchester City on Saturday.
His injury is a huge blow to Arsenal, as they not only lose their first choice right back but are also left short of options in defence. Calum Chambers, another new summer signing, will deputise at the right-back from now on.
Chambers is mainly seen as a back-up option for centre-halves Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscileny. However, with him now being shifted to the right back role, Arsenal are only left with Nacho Monreal, who primarily is a left-back, to play in the middle.
Arsenal badly needed to sign a top quality centre-back to replace Thomas Vermaelen who joined Barcelona in the summer. As it stands, Arsenal are one just injury away from getting down to bare bones in defence. In that situation, either Wenger will be forced into a make-shift plan or bring in an inexperienced youngster from the academy.
What frustrates here is that Wenger had several good defenders lined up this summer, but Arsenal never made any serious attempt to get those deals done. Going by the media reports, the Gunners were heavily linked with Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas and Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos, but in the end none of the deals materialised.
Sokratis has been one of the best performers for Dortmund this season so far, while Manolas, who replaced Mehdi Benatia, has become an instant hit already.
Wenger can avoid this crisis by signing any free agent here. But does he have enough options in the market? And will he go against his nature and make a short-term signing?