Arsene Wenger has admitted he will be forced to dip into the transfer market for a leftback following a calf strain to Thomas Vermaelen will keep him sidelined for 2-3 weeks. Meanwhile Thierry Henry is currently awaiting international clearance before he can make his Arsenal return, with the upcoming FA Cup fixture against Leeds his most likely appearance.
Vermaelen, a makeshift leftback limped off after 54 minutes at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners moved up to fourth with a 1-0 win over QPR. The Belgian international is set to miss two-three weeks leaving Wenger with no natural left footed backs available after injuries to Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs meant The Verminator had to slot in out wide.
With Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson also on the long-term injury list, Wenger admits he will look to bring in defensive cover on loan.
We lost Vermaelen for two or three weeks, so I have to look if I can find somebody [but] only a loan. It would be stupid for us to drop points because we don’t have a left-back.
[Vermaelen’s injury] is serious enough for him not to play on Monday against Fulham or against Leeds. We now have three left-backs out. Francis Coquelin came on in this position and did quite well, but he is a central midfielder.
The Gunners are linked with both Manchester City’s Wayne Bridge and AC Milan’s Nigerian Taiwo at present, and the acquisition of either would be valuable in Arsenal’s quest for silverware with January a decisive month.
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Wenger has announced that he will reinforce his attacking options with the return of former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry on a two-month loan deal. Wenger is confident the Frenchman can strike up a successful partnership with current captain and talisman Robin van Persie.
I don’t think he [Henry] will get international clearance for Monday but he has a little chance to be available for the Leeds game.
They can play together, it can hopefully give little breather to Robin as well. Thierry is there to help out. He can also help in the dressing room.
He will bring us his class. In training, he has still exceptional class and he might surprise a few people.
The defensive situation is a worry especially loosing Vermaelen as his presence on the field is important defensively and in attacking situations particularly on set pieces. Hopefully he makes a quick recovery, but in terms of attacking options the Gunners are looking quite set with Henry returning.
Gervinho and Chamakh’s absence may well be a blessing in disguise, especially the loss of the Moroccan striker as Henry may well not of been signed if it wasn’t for the Africans Nations Cup. Gervinho’s absence hopefully can provide a chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain to sparkle on the Premier League stage.
Who do you think Wenger should bring in on loan? It’s a tough choice if it’s out of Taiwo and Bridge, the City leftback is adjusted to English football however hasn’t played any top matches for awhile. The AC Milan defender may be playing at the top but will be cup tied for Champions League matches and will take time to adjust to English football. Who would you choose? Comment below..