Arsenal may try and dip into the free agent market fro defensive cover after it emerged that summer signing Mathieu Debuchy would be ruled out after three months.
Arsene Wenger was dealt the one injury blow he would have been desperately hoping would not come when the France international crumpled to the turf with nobody near him late on during the 2-2 draw with Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
According to The Mirror, Debuchy has suffered ankle ligament damage and will be sidelined for up to three months.
This leaves the Gunners with limited options in defence as youngster Calum Chambers will have to deputise in his absence, leaving Nacho Monreal as the only centre-back cover in the squad.
Wenger was criticised for not recruiting another centre-back in the summer transfer window after allowing former club captain Thomas Vermaelen to join Barcelona and youngster Ignasi Miquel to join Norwich City.
Bacary Sagna left to join Manchester City on a free transfer this summer and Debuchy was bought from Newcastle United as an equally experienced operator in that position – some even considered it an upgrade as he was picked ahead of Sagna for France in the World Cup.
Now the summer transfer window has closed Wenger does not have many options other than to try and find a suitable free agent or to promote from within the club’s youth ranks - the report suggests he is considering the former.
Chambers has been extremely impressive in the early days since his switch to Emirates Stadium from Southampton this summer, but that has been as a centre-back in the absences of both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
However, all of his previous Premier League experience before his transfer was at right-back for the Saints, so he is familiar with the position. Wenger may also have to call upon Under-21 youngster Hector Bellerin, who has been improving steadily in the position since arriving from Barcelona’s La Masia academy in 2011.
Arsenal’s manager made life more difficult for himself at right-back by agreeing to send Carl Jenkinson out on loan at West Ham United for a season, as the young Englishman would have been an experienced cover for Debuchy, though there is no doubting his need to improve.
Chambers first appearance at right-back for his new club will be a stern test as it comes against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Arsenal travel to the Bundesliga giants for their first clash in Group D.