While Arsenal continue to fly high at the top of the Premier League table, it seems as though the dreaded injury curse has struck the North London side yet again. During the resilient victory over Aston Villa, Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky suffered a broken nose as a result of an elbow from Gabby Agbonlahor while Spanish full-back Nacho Monreal is suspected to have a broken metatarsal in his foot.
The news comes as a huge blow for Arsene Wenger who has seen his squad stretched to the limit so far this season. Aaron Ramsey and Nicklas Bendtner are still on the sidelines along with the ever-present Abou Diaby. English winger Theo Walcott has already been ruled out for the rest of the season and Wenger might well be a little short on options at the moment.
While the injury to Rosicky can be covered given the Gunners’ midfield depth, the same cannot be said about Monreal, who looks like he could be out for at least two months. Keeping in mind the injury record of Keiran Gibbs, it will not be very wise to go into the business end of the season with the injury-prone Englishman being the only recognised option at the left side of defence.
If Gibbs were to get injured again, which is likely, that would leave Arsenal with no recognised options at left-back. While Thomas Vermaelen and Mathieu Flamini are quite capable of putting in a shift at left-back, you really can’t see them playing comfortably in that position for more than a game or two. Besides, both Vermaelen and Flamini are not the quickest in terms of pace and might deprive the team of an attacking threat down the left flank, not to mention confusion in the defence.
In my opinion, Arsenal should really go in for at least a temporary solution while the transfer window is still open. Newcastle’s Davide Santon is a good option and there is every chance that the Italian international will jump at a chance to come to the Emirates. While it may be hard to bring in reinforcements given the timing, I firmly believe that we need to bring in a left-back. We simply cannot depend on the fitness of Keiran Gibbs, especially with a title race on the cards. Should Wenger go for Santon or somebody else?