Unai Emery says that although the January transfer window isn’t the ideal time to buy players, he’d be open to an addition when business starts getting done next month.
Unsurprisingly he’s after a central defender to help boost that area of the team, following the serious injury suffered by Rob Holding. The 22 year old is out for the rest of the season with a torn cruciate ligament, and it’s left the squad light in a key area.
Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi will be joined by Laurent Koscielny, set to make his comeback against Qarabag tonight, but at 33 and on the back of a serious Achilles injury there have to be some question marks about him.
Dinos Mavropanos is another option when fit, but he’s missed all of this campaign so far with a groin problem and remains in rehab with a return to full training earmarked for later this month.
It means the Gunners could dip into the market in January, and Emery made his preference clear.
“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” he said.
“The transfer window is not easy. Koscielny is coming back and for the team it’s very important he is coming back.
“Then we are going to wait and see how Mavropanos is improving with his injuries, because he is also a centre-back who can help us.
“Another option we can play with two, with three, and Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner can play in this position.
“But I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”
Already names are being bandied around. A loan move to out of favour Chelsea veteran Gary Cahill has been mooted, while some reports suggest that Emery is keen on Man Utd’s former Villarreal defender Eric Bailly.
No doubt there’ll be plenty more added to that list over the coming weeks, but we have to get to January 1st before Sven and Raul can do anything about it.