Arsenal are already facing a defensive crisis and the new season’s not even kicked off yet.
- Arsenal have a number of centre-backs missing start of season
- Kos serving three-match red card ban
- Young players took part in Euorpean u21 Championships
- Mustafi was in Confederations Cup final
- Bielik set to be brought in as cover
Arsenal will be without the vast majority of their preferred defenders going into the 2017/18 season.
For starters, Laurent Koscielny will still be serving the rest of his three-match ban for that stupid red card he received against Everton last season, which saw him miss the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Therefore, the centre-back will miss out on Arsenal’s opening clashes against Leicester at the Emirates and the Gunners’ trip to Stoke.
Gabriel, on the other hand, injured his cruciate ligament against the Toffees and while the Brazilian is expected back on 31 July, it’s unclear whether he’ll be fit enough to actually take part in the upcoming Premier League matches.
Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, and Shkodran Mustafi will probably also miss out on the first few matches due to their involvement in the European u21 Championships and the Confederations Cup.
Arsene Wenger likes his players to get the right amount of rest before diving right into competitive club football again.
That leaves Arsenal with Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson and Nacho Monreal going into the new season.
While Per was an absolute boss in the FA Cup final and has gone on pre-season tour with the rest of the squad, as has Monreal, there’s only so much they can do on their own seeing as Jenks, who’s predominantly a right-back, played just five matches for the first team last season.
Plus, the 25-year-old hasn’t traveled to Australia for pre-season.
This means that, according to the Mirror, Arsene Wenger might bring youth player Krystian Bielik up to the first team as cover.