Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker is back in Arsenal’s squad for tomorrow’s game with Bayern Munich but it’s not yet clear who will partner him in the centre of defence after it was confirmed that Laurent Koscielny sat out today’s training session.
The German and Frenchman had been expected to partner each other in the middle with Thomas Vermaelen moving to left-back due to the absence of the injured Kieran Gibbs and cup-tied Nacho Monreal.
Having admitted he is ‘uncertain’ as to whether Koscielny will participate the boss now needs a contingency plan to counter Bayern wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Given the scarcity of options young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel looks the most natural candidate to take over at left-back although Wenger could be tempted to utilise Sagna on the opposite flank and hand a start to Carl Jenkinson on the right, despite the latter’s rusty showing against Sunderland.
Who knows, he could even go 2006 crazy and start deploying a midfielder at left-back just like he did with Mathieu Flamini when Gael Clichy and Ashley Cole were sidelined on the road to Paris.
It’s got to be said that at this stage none of the options looks particularly satisfactory, so it’s fair to say the boss will be hoping Koscielny makes a swift recovery in the next 24 hours.