To buy or not to buy – the big question facing Arsene Wenger this January. Thanks to a bit of bad luck and a series of injuries Arsenal currently find themselves without a single fit full-back. Bacary Sagna is out of action as is fill-in full-back Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs. The recent news that Andre Santos is facing three months out on the sidelines stirred up some panic amongst fans. How would the Gunners adapt to this latest crisis?
The answer, it seems, is to play four centre-backs in all four of the defensive positions. How long that solution will prove successful remains to be seen. So should Wenger bring in some cover during the January transfer window?
And who could they bring in? Wenger may well be tempted to bring in Taye Taiwo , the Nigerian International who isn’t getting much of a look in at AC Milan. It’s rumoured that Newcastle United are entering negotiations with Milan to take him on loan, but couldn’t the Gunners hijack such a deal?
He’s even more appealing given the fact that Nigeria didn’t qualify for the African Cup of Nations this year and thus won’t be off for an extended period of time next year.
The danger of bringing in another player is that once all the left-backs at the club are all fit, they just won’t get a look in. Competition within the squad is one thing, but it has to be remembered that there is a 25-man-squad limit, and having 5 full-backs just doesn’t seem necessary.
But a loan move does have some appeal. Santos will be absent for three months (let’s not forget that with these long-term injuries it’s often difficult to assess how long the recovery period will be) and will take time to recover fitness and find some form.
With Taiwo on loan, there’d be no rushing players who aren’t quite ready back onto the pitch. The likes of Gibbs and Santos will be left to recover at their own pace. What’s more, I think at this stage in their careers, Taiwo is a better player than Gibbs.
Unfortunately he’s played in the Champions League for Milan and would thus be cup-tied should he join Arsenal on loan.
On balance however, this is an area Arsene needs to consider carefully this January and I for one hope he finds someone to bring in with a loan deal. And who better that Taiwo?
What’s your take? Do Arsenal need to bring in a full-back this January?
Article courtesy of Harry Cloke from This is Futbol