Football Football

Wenger: No defensive shortage


MONREAL-OUTLONDON, September 16-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that his side are not facing a defensive crisis following the ankle injury suffered by Mathieu Debuchy on Saturday.

The Gunners head into Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund without the services of full-backs Debuchy and Nacho Monreal, while Calum Chambers is struggling with a bout of tonsilitis.

While Kieran Gibbs provides good cover for Monreal, Arsenal look a touch light on the right, where 19-year-old Hector Bellerin may be deployed, with the Spaniard having played just 26 minutes of competitive first-team football for the club.

Despite this, Wenger believes that there is no reason to panic.

“I don’t feel we are stretched. The Debuchy [ankle] injury put us in a position where we do not want more and hopefully we have good news after the scan that he can be back soon,” said the Frenchman.

“We have Chambers who can play in different positions, Monreal who can play centre-back and Hector Bellerin, who I think now is ready to play.”

“He’s a boy with personality who isn’t fazed by the pressure,” Wenger added of Bellerin.

“That’s a very important quality when you’re a young boy playing at a big club. His transition game is fantastic. He’s very quick and his final ball is good as well.

“He lacks a bit of experience as a defender, but he’s very dangerous going forward.”