Arsenal have performed above their initial expectations this term to stay within contention for the top-four positions but their task has become tedious of late amid the widescale of injuries hampering their defence.
Rob Holding has already been ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury while Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin are currently on the sidelines with short-term concerns.
Amidst this, the central defensive department has particularly been affected and The Hour Mark looks into a couple of players, who can fill the void when the transfer window reopens next week.
Gary Cahill – Chelsea: The former England international has gone through a tough season with the Blues this term and he has yet to make a Premier League start under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri. In between this, there has been little to no progress in terms of committing him to a new deal beyond June 2019 and the Blues could seek to sanction his sale on a cut-price fee next month.The 33-year-old’s performances have come for criticism since the backend of the previous campaign but he would nonetheless provide the much-needed experience in the Gunners’ backline, where Sokratis has had to adjust with makeshift central defenders in the form of Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner of late.
Eric Bailly – Manchester United: Bailly has been with the Red Devils for the past two-and-a-half years but he has still not been able to secure a regular starting role. This has largely come about from fitness concerns but of late, he has found himself on the bench every now and then. The Ivory Coast international was in-and-out of the starting lineup under ex-boss Jose Mourinho and this may remain the case with caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has recently gone with Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones as his preferred central partnership. With just 18 months remaining on his contract, Bailly has yet to establish himself as a regular in the United XI and Arsenal could take advantage of the defender’s situation this winter by offering him the assurance of regular gametime.
Image – Getty