Arsenal suddenly short of centre-backs - My Arsenal Blog

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Arsenal suddenly short of centre-backs

Posted on October 10, 2017 by David Nugent

When Arsenal started their Premier League campaign, the Gunners looked well covered in numbers anyway in the centre of defence.

However, an injury sustained by German international Shkodran Mustafi, along with French defender Laurent Koscielny being absent through injury have limited Arsene Wenger’s centre-back options for the near future.

The Gunners face a trip to Watford on Saturday evening, in a game the side from north London are odds of 8/13 to win.

The likely absence of the aforementioned pair means that Wenger will have to call on some of his other defenders to fill the void.

Players can fill in

Arsenal’s obvious starters for that game at Watford at centre-back would be Rob Holding and of course Per Mertesacker. If Wenger continues to play three at the back that just leaves one centre-back spot to fill.

That does not seem a problem as full-backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac have both played at the heart of the defence this season already. In fact, Spanish international Monreal has played more as a centre-back in recent months than as a full-back or a wing-back.

Kolasinac can play as a centre-back, but his tendency of wanting to power forward often leaves gaps at the back, even with three centre-backs. Maybe the Bosnia-Herzegovina is better served playing as a wing-back and let Monreal play at centre-back.

There is also the option of moving Egyptian defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny to centre-back. Elneny played at centre-back during pre-season, as Wenger assessed his defensive options ahead of the new campaign.

However, for me, Holding, Mertesacker and Monreal would prove to be the best trio for the Gunners clash with Watford.

Not the end of the world

Arsenal have looked very solid at the back in recent weeks, as they have kept clean sheets in four of their last five games in all competitions. Despite the loss of Mustafi for a potentially long period may not prove to be the end of the world for the Gunners.

Mertesacker may not be a player that can play on a regular basis anymore for the Gunners, but his vast experience compensates at times for his lack of mobility. Holding is a player that has potential but seems to have been out of his depth at times for the Gunners. I hope that his performances improve if he gets the nod to play at centre-back.

Arsenal are on a good run of form, so hopefully, the defensive injuries do have too much of an effect on that good form.

Who should start at centre-back for Arsenal against Watford?

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