Arsenal have no full-backs—a statement that is both alarming and surprising. However, following severe injuries to the Gunners' recognised right- and left-backs, Arsene Wenger will enter the hectic Christmas/January winter period without his routine full-backs.
First-choice right-back Bacary Sagna has not featured since October following a broken ankle sustained against Tottenham and is not expected to return until February. Deputy Carl Jenkinson has endured a persistent back complaint since early November and is still just under a month away from a return.
England international Kieran Gibbs has not featured since October thanks to a stomach and hernia issue and the left-back is still awaiting a month of rehabilitation before returning to full fitness. Finally, to worsen the situation, Wenger announced Brazilian left-back Andre Santos, who has been in impressive form for a number of months following his deadline-day move from Fenerbache, will undergo ankle surgery and will be absent for three months.
This last few weeks have seen Wenger resort to using predominant centre-backs such as Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou on the right flank while both Igansi Miquel and Thomas Vermaelen have fulfilled duties at left-back.
Whilst the quartet are capable of performing in those roles, none are ideal, as Wenger's game plan thrives on the speed and attacking prowess of the flank defenders. Furthermore, these predominant centre-halves have a tendency to lack the speed to sufficiently contain the quality wingers in the English Premier League.
Wenger also has the option of promoting youngsters such as Nico Yennaris, Jernade Meade and Daniel Boateng from the highly touted Arsenal reserves. However, during a hectic period of 10 matches from now until the end of December, the Frenchman will desire and require a recognised full-back to compensate the injury woes.
With the January transfer window approaching, Wenger has the option of acquiring an emergency full-back on loan or a short-term deal which will enable greater depth and security. It is a prospect Wenger will surely consider as this period will make or break the North London giants' campaign.
Bleacher Report establishes five full-backs Arsene Wenger could target on an emergency deal.