It’s fair to say that Arsenal have had defensive issues this season, and right now there are problems with availability.
With Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers sidelined, and Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding feeling their way back from serious injury, the last thing Mikel Arteta needed was another injury.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he got, with Sead Kolasinac ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United because of a thigh strain. It leaves the Gunners without a recognised left-back, and it will require some creative thinking from the manager when it comes to picking his team.
The injury for the Bosnia-Herzegovina international comes after the departure of centre-half Dinos Mavropanos on loan, so depth is certainly an issue right now.
However, while recognising this, Arteta admitted he just has to get on with it until such time as reinforcements are found via the transfer market – and even then it’s not clear how much business, if any, the club are willing to do this month.
“We have a lot of issues at the back, the fact that Calum got the big injury is modifying our plans,” he said.
“It is what we have, the situation, it can happen between December and January, it is very common.
“We have to live with it, this is what we have. We have to put 11 players out on the pitch on Saturday and I am sure we will.
“They will try their best, and I will try to select the ones who in my opinion are the best fit for that game.”
As for incomings to ease the burden, the Spaniard didn’t say anything that would lead you think a deal is imminent.
“I want to keep the players and get the maximum from the players that I want, but if this scenario changes and we need somebody, I’m expecting that we will go into the market and try to solve the issue,” he said.
“But it has to be the right player, in the right context that financially we can compete and we can attract and all these factors, if you put them together, are not easy in this market.”