Arsenal’s dearth of defenders has meant that several youth players have been called up to train with the first team ahead of the Champions league match with Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Already, Hector Bellerin and Isaac Hayden have three appearances for the first team in defence this season. The former played at right back against Borussia Dortmund and Southampton, while Isaac Hayden played in central defence against the Saints in the Capital One Cup. Both players have regularly trained with the first team this season, and with the spate of injuries ravaging the squad, they could be set for a place on the bench in Wednesday’s match. Also, called up are Under-21 centre half Stefan O’Connor and left back Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill.
With Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal out injured, the defensive options available to Arsene Wenger is severally limited, and the players called up would at least serve as cover in case of further set back on the injury front.
The Arsenal squad that trained at London Colney ahead of the match with Galatasaray included 22 players, with four players expected to be drop including Abou Diaby who Arsene Wenger claims his not yet ready to play, it means one or two of the duo could make the bench for tonight’s Champions League match at the Emirates.
It is not yet clear the players Arsene Wenger would field across the middle of park particularly as Jack Wilshere is expected to be rested following his injury scare on Saturday. The last time he came up with a knock to his ankle two weeks ago in Dortmund, he was only fit for the bench against Aston Villa three days later, which is where he is likely to be against Galatasaray.
The present inclusion of players from the youth set up to join up with the first team ahead of a crucial match in the Champions League, once again calls into question the refusal of the manager to sign a defensive backup during the summer transfer window. Although, the club is not yet down to the bare bones in defence, yet, it is one or two injuries away from getting to that situation especially with Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal out which reduces the club’s senior defenders to four from the original six.
With Calum Chambers currently sitting on four yellow cards in the league, he is one yellow card away from suspension, which means it would not be long before Hector Bellerin is thrust into making his Premier League debut.
Although, the adage that when a player is good enough, he is old enough is there, it is down to the club’s negligence that youth players are now being called upon to plug gaps that they fail to fill in the summer.