"Arsenal Football Club can confirm that, following investigations and subsequent medical opinions by Club specialists, left-back Andre Santos will have surgery to repair ligament damage in his right ankle sustained in the game against Olympiacos last week.
Andre will have surgery in Brazil this week and is expected to be out for around three months. Everyone at the Club wishes him well."
Oh dear, not what we needed at all.
With Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs already out, Arsenal have now lost its fourth full back. Asenal now have no out and out full backs. Indeed, Vermaelen is just as good at left back as centre back, but Arsenal need him in the middle.
Apparently, Gibbs is only a few weeks away from a return, which is good because he's a brilliant young defender when he plays. But that's the thing. He doesn't play too often, just another brilliant player with huge potential, but plagued with injuries.
Sagna will be back in the new year. No one is exactly sure when, but he won't be out for too much longer. He is the best right back in the premiership, and one of the best in the world.
Jenkinson, had a scan on his back and is awaiting results, so he could be back very soon. He is still young and although he's developing well, he's not of the high quality Arsenal need at the moment.
Arsene Wenger also said when he was quizzed on his defenders on Friday that he's not interested in signing a centre back, which is fair enough. Arsenal actually have a decent set of centre backs for the rest of the season.
Hopefully, he will dive into the transfer market and sign a full back or two to provide even more cover. I hope he'll look for one of those defenders who can play anywhere in the defence, left, right or in the centre (a bit like Sergio Ramos, but Arensal won't find anyone that good) .
This would supply cover for all the defenders and we could essentially have when fit. That could make five centre backs in Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Johan Djourou and the new cover player. (Sebastien Squillaci doesn't count for particular reasons, and also you can count Song, but he's not primarily a centre back.)
It could be the left backs in Santos, Gibbs, Vermaelen and the new cover player. Also, it could be the right backs in Sagna, Jenkinson, Koscielny and the new cover player. (also Djourou, but Koscielny is the better player).
Arsenal would have sufficient cover and a good set of defenders that would really allow them to express themselves in the attack and carry on with our recent form and ensure they get in the top four, maybe even a late charge for the title.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!