Arsene Wenger says he won’t use Shkodran Mustafi at right-back in the absence of Hector Bellerin as he doesn’t want to break up the impressive centre-back partnership the German has forged with Laurent Koscielny.
In the absence of Bellerin – ruled out for four weeks with ankle ligament damage – and Mathieu Debuchy – just returning from a calf problem – the boss says he’ll likely turn to either Carl Jenkinson or Gabriel for tomorrow’s game with Manchester United.
“Hector is Hector,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “He has strong points and is a very strong player. Our team likes to go forward so we’ll try to keep these attacking options open.
“The options are basically Jenkinson – because Debuchy will play his first game back on Friday with the under-23s – and also Gabriel because he played a few times at left back for Villarreal.”
“I do not want to destroy what works to put a player somewhere which is not 100 per cent his position,” explained the boss when asked if Mustafi might shuffle to the right of defence.
“You have to keep your strong points in the squad and our central defence has worked well, so let’s not destroy it. Sometimes, to correct one position, you don’t have to change two.”
Arseblog News suspects Jenkinson will get the nod tomorrow; not only is it a position he knows, but he also offers us a decent option going forward. We’re struggling to envisage Gabriel bursting to the byline and delivering a delicious cross for Alexis to head home…although we’re willing to eat our words.