With various circumstances affecting the availability of certain Arsenal defenders in pre-season, Omar Rekik could be in line for an opportunity.

Omar Rekik with Arsenal in training (Photo via Rekik on Instagram)
Omar Rekik with Arsenal in training (Photo via Rekik on Instagram)

When you include the academy options and those returning from loan spells, Arsenal certainly don’t lack for centre-backs. Yet there aren’t too many available for the early stages of pre-season.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes will be away at the Olympics, and Konstantinos Mavropanos has joined Stuttgart on loan. Daniel Ballard is likely to earn a loan move too, and Zech Medley and Mark McGuinness have recently moved on to new clubs.

Even if Arsenal get a move for Ben White over the line, he’s not going to be available until late July at the very earliest, due to his participation with England at Euro 2020.

That leaves three senior centre-backs, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, and Calum Chambers. If we’re even counting Chambers as a centre-back.

After those three, you’d expect Mikel Arteta to start looking to the academy to supplement his options. Top of the pile is surely January signing Omar Rekik.

Rekik joined the Arsenal u23s in January from Hertha BSC, though an injury problem meant he didn’t make his debut until their final game of the season. But he’s fit again now, and recently earned his senior international debut for Tunisia.

After learning of his call-up in May, Rekik made the squad for all three Tunisia friendlies in June, eventually making his debut in the final game against Mali. He played 60 minutes as they won 1-0.

Harry Clarke and Jonathan Dinzeyi are two more players listed for loan spells at the moment. Zane Monlouis is highly rated and could make the step up, but he’s still just 17 and not a full international like Rekik.

All the signs point to the Tunisian 19-year-old joining the trip to Scotland next month.