Unai Emery says that it would be a ‘good option’ for Arsenal to sign a centre-back in January after the team have had trouble with the position so far this season.

We’re now just over two weeks away from the start of the January transfer window, so it’s no surprise that the media have started to ask Emery who Arsenal might try and sign mid-season. In his press conference on Wednesday, the Spaniard responded that the club should think about bringing in a centre-back.

“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” Emery said. “The transfer (window) is not easy. [Laurent] Koscielny is coming back and for the team, it’s very important he is coming back.

“Then we are going to wait and see how [Konstantinos] Mavropanos is improving with his injuries because he is also a centre-back who can help us.”

Laurent Koscielny back in training
Laurent Koscielny back in training

For most of the season so far, Mavropanos and Koscielny have been out injured, leaving Arsenal with just three centre-backs: Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. However, every one of those three players has also had injury problems, with Holding in particular now out for the season.

Emery says he’s happy to improvise, for the time being, playing full-backs at centre-back and changing formation to suit the players available. He adds that he’d prefer to use ‘specialist’ centre-backs though, rather than playing people out of position.

“Another option we can play with two, with three, and (full-backs) Nacho Monreal and (Stephan) Lichtsteiner can play in this position,” he continued. “I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”

Who could Arsenal bring in?

If Arsenal do indeed try to sign a centre-back in January, we’ve already got some idea over who that might be. Reports in the media today list three options currently on their shortlist, and we put together a piece on five more defenders linked to an Arsenal transfer in the last month or so.

Check the links out and let us know who you want to see the club sign.