Despite being short of numbers in the defensive department, Arsene Wenger has dropped a bombshell by hinting that he will not recruit a new defender before their English Premier League opening clash with Liverpool.
The north London giants are already without veteran center-back Per Mertesacker after the retired German international suffered a knee injury during the Gunners’ pre-season campaign. The 31-year-old will not play until 2017 as a result.
Elsewhere, Wenger confirmed that Laurent Koscielny will also sit out the encounter with the Reds after returning to the north London giants late due to Euro 2016. This means that Arsenal will be without their star center-back partnership when they embark on their 2016/17 Championship campaign.
Arsenal have been linked with Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, but Le Prof has all but crushed any hope of seeing the German at the Emirates Stadium in time for their opening game by revealing it will be Krystian Bielik, Calum Chambers, and Rob Holding competing for that center-back spot.
Gabriel Paulista was tipped to start the Premier League opener, but the Brazilian defender recently joined Mertesacker on the sidelines after suffering an injury in the 3-2 win over Manchester City.
When speaking of his selection for the Liverpool game, Wenger stated (according to the Metro): “It [the Man City game] will contribute.
- [Match Highlights] Southampton 1-1 Arsenal – All The Goals And Highlights
- [Player Ratings] Southampton 1-1 Arsenal – Giroud Saves Gunners
- [Confirmed Lineups] Southampton v Arsenal – Mertesacker Starts For Gunners
“I already have an idea. It will contribute but on Sunday we will play against top-class strikers who will want to do well against us.
“Our defenders will be tested so I might use a few combinations during the game. I believe that Bielik, Chambers and Holding will be fighting for the place between the three of them.”
The long-serving Frenchman’s latest comments, however, don’t mean no defenders will come in during the summer transfer window. With Mathieu Debuchy expected to leave the English capital be it on loan or a permanent transfer, a defender or two is required at the Emirates.
Will a defender be signed? If so, who will Le Prof bring to the Gunners are questions only Arsene Wenger has the answers to.