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Thursday, August 11, 2016

ARSENAL ‘IN DIFFICULT POSITION’ IN DEFENCE AHEAD OF LIVERPOOL GAME



Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is facing a ‘very
frustrating’ defensive crisis ahead of the Gunners’ Premier
League opener against Liverpool.
Last season’s runners up will get their campaign underway
against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Emirates Stadium on
Sunday.
But the Gunners are not in the best shape ahead of the
clash following pre-season injuries to Per Mertesacker and
Gabriel Paulista, while Laurent Koscielny is also unlikely to
feature having returned late to pre-season following Euro
2016.
It leaves Wenger worryingly short of options and without a
much-needed experienced head at the back.
And while the Frenchman revealed the club are ‘working’ on
bolstering his defence before the transfer window shuts, he
has ruled out dipping into the market before Sunday’s game
and insists he must find an ‘internal solution’.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Wenger said: “We’ve had two
unexpected injuries with Mertesacker and Gabriel, and
Koscielny came back very late so we are in a difficult
position for Sunday’s game against Liverpool.
“This is very frustrating, but it’s a part of the game as well.
“Sometimes you find a solution that you wouldn’t find if you
had no injuries.
“We are short on the experience front and this, centre-back,
is a position where experience plays an important part.
“Of course we will look to add, we are working on it, but
until Sunday I have to find an internal solution and an
efficient solution.”
That could mean a surprise Premier League debut for 20-
year-old Rob Holding, who only joined the club from League
One Bolton for £2million in July.
Currently the club’s only fit recognised centre-back, Holding
could be the only option for Arsenal , but Wenger is
confident in his ability.
“He’s done extremely well,” the Gunners boss added.
“That’s part of the game as well, you want the spectacular
players to come to the Premier League, but that means
young players lose that opportunity to get a chance. Arsenal
are one of the clubs who still have the guts to do that.
“I know it’s more glamorous to sign a £60m player than to
give a chance to a young player, but in my job you have to
look and focus on the quality of the player, and not just the
numbers.”
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