Arsenal ready to make emergency January signing, admits Arsene Wenger

Defensive shortage may force Gunners boss into action in transfer window

Arsene Wenger has admitted he will consider bringing in a new left-back next month after Arsenal’s defensive injury crisis worsened this week.

The Gunners have now played three games without a recognised full-back with Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos all having suffered long-term injuries.

Gibbs was thought to be the closest of those to returning, but suffered a setback this week, and with Johan Djourou now ruled out by a groin problem, Wenger admitted the situation might need rectifying in the transfer window which opens in 10 days’ time.

“We are starting to look at players if Gibbs is not back. If he has had a real setback then possibly, yes [we will bring in a new left-back].

“Overall that’s what we are doing at the moment. It is not a shop, you just take a good opportunity that is on the market when you can.

“On the other hand we have good news on Sagna because he has started to run again,” said Wenger who has seen his defensive resources stretched to breaking point even before the demanding trio of festive fixtures in eight days.

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“It’s difficult because first of all we have centre-backs who do not like to play at full-back.

“We are a team who likes to go forward through the full-backs, so of course, they are in a position where they have to produce different games.

“That is much more demanding physically. That exposes us even more to injuries, so I try to rotate people – one time right-back, one time centre-back. They do not use their positional play and do not get exposed too much physically because we have nobody ready to come back.”

However, Wenger was confident that he could reshuffle his squad sufficiently for Wednesday’s visit to Aston Villa, for which he also has the problem of defensive midfielder Alex Song being suspended.

“I can use Sebastien Squillaci, I can use Ignasi Miquel, I can use Francis Coquelin, but let’s be frank and honest, no solution will be ideal because whatever we do, two players will have to play out of position.

“At the moment we are coping well with it and that’s why inside the team we have to work as hard as possible and that we do not suffer in this period.”