Football

Arsenal's defensive woes continue

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Amidst the euphoria concerning Thierry Henry's second coming to Arsenal and indeed the debut goal he scored against Leeds United last night, was the fairly unnoticed blooding of another Arsenal rookie.

What slipped under the radar was 18-year-old Nico Yennaris' second senior appearance for the club. In the process he became the sixth Arsenal player to fill the right back void this season.

Decimated by injuries across the defence after the withdrawals of first choice Bacary Sagna and deputant Carl Jenkinson, Arsene Wenger has been forced to play Johan Djourou, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin on the right side of his back four over the last month.

Yennaris became the sixth last night, as an ever-improving Coquelin was struck down by a hamstring injury in the 33rd minute. So on came Yennaris for his second appearance since the fourth round of the Carling Cup against Bolton where he managed the whole 90 minutes.

Standing at just 5ft 7in, and of Chinese and Cypriot roots, Yennaris has experience of playing for England at Noel Blake's Under-19 level. Against Leeds he had a steady game and will be eager for more chances around the first-team squad.

His chance may come again sooner rather than later as Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and now Coquelin are missing for the weekend trip to Swansea.

It is anticipated that Bacary Sagna may see action before the beginning of February. Arsene Wenger said: "We think the end of January is a reasonable target for him."

Arsenal continue to be linked with full back's in the January transfer window including Barcelona's Eric Abidal, Lyon's Aly Cissokho and a move closer to home for Manchester City's Wayne Bridge.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Nico Yennaris

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