When the dust settled after the summer transfer window, Arsenal fans moved past their high profile signings of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to realize something alarming: an injury or two to their defense could find them in a tough, tough spot.
Now summer signing Mathieu Debuchy may be out months, Nacho Monreal is injured and Calum Chambers could also be out for the Gunners clash with Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League group stage today.
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And with Carl Jenkinson is on loan at West Ham, Arsenal is in a spot if Chambers can’t go, looking at a unit with Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker healthy and not much afterwards. With all due respect to potential starter Hector Bellerin and his single senior team appearance, this is away to Dortmund in the UCL.
Wenger rated Chambers’ chances of recovery at “50-50”, but added Bellerin would be “ready to play”, describing the 19-year-old, who has made just one senior appearance for Arsenal, as “a boy with personality, who isn’t fazed by the pressure”.
The Frenchman added: “That’s a very important quality when you’re a young boy playing at a big club. His transition game is fantastic. He’s very quick and his final ball is good as well. He lacks a bit of experience as a defender, but he’s very dangerous going forward.”
A bit of experience as a defender won’t be a problem against a side that can boast Marco Reus, Ciro Immobile, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ji-Dong won, right?
It’s kind of stunning that this happens at the professional level, let alone at a club as high-profile as Arsenal. Yet last year the club faced a similar problem up-top. Now it’s at the back. Next year? Probably midfield.