Following Bacary Sagna’s exit from Arsenal last summer to move to Manchester City, the Gunners’ right-back berth seemed like something of a problem area.
Arsene Wenger has since loaned Carl Jenkinson out to West Ham, with the former Charlton man doing well with the Hammers this season.
However, over the space of the last six months competition for places has really increased in the bid to be Arsenal’s right-back, with Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy all the in the reckoning for consideration.
Chambers was signed from Southampton last summer at considerable expense and although more than capable of starting for the North London club, he is beginning to look like a fringe player.
Debuchy was signed as Sagna’s immediate replacement, with the former Newcastle man proving himself over the years as one of the Premier League’s best in his position.
However, with the France international spending a number of months on the sidelines, a new first-team hero has emerged in his place.
Bellerin has taken to first-team football at the Emirates Stadium with aplomb, fitting into the starting XI seamlessly and providing Wenger with something of a selection headache.
With Debuchy now back in the first-team reckoning and the Gunners still facing a glut of important games, who should the French coach pick as his first choice in the position?
There is no doubting that the position is Bellerin’s to lose after his impressive showings of late, with the young Spaniard possessing all the qualities to be a real star for the Gunners for years to come.
His presence has added real pace to the North London club’s backline, while the youngster has been relatively astute in his defending.
With Arsenal dominating possession in most of their games of late, Bellerin has played a prominent role at the other end of the pitch, scoring a vital goal against Liverpool while getting involved heavily in his side’s attacking play.
Despite Bellerin’s promise, Wenger will surely be tempted to reintroduce Debuchy for big games, especially against Chelsea in a potential title-deciding clash next weekend.
The more experienced of the full-back options is arguably the better defender of the two, with the former Newcastle man a tenacious tackler and a good reader of the game.
Against top-drawer opposition, Debuchy’s experience could well be a critical bonus for the Gunners.
Regardless of whom Wenger picks in the role, Arsenal look to have comprehensive options in the position and have put their concerns from Sagna’s time at the club behind them.
The now Manchester City man’s exit could have been a real blow for Arsenal, but they have managed to find a number of excellent options and are in a better position now than when Sagna was at the club.
Deciding what to do with Jenkinson will be an interesting call for Wenger to make this summer, while his right-back options look as good as any team in the Premier League currently.