Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he's more desperate than ever to sign a new central defender before the January transfer window closes, after losing Mathieu Debuchy to injury in the last 24 hours.
Debuchy suffered a dislocated right shoulder in Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Stoke City, leaving Wenger without yet another experienced defender who if pushed can provide important cover at centre-back.
The 29-year-old is now set for another prolonged spell on the sidelines and Wenger has conceded it's strengthened his resolve to get another defender in before the transfer window slams shut in just over three weeks' time.
Time to finally sign Vermaelen's replacement
In his post-match press conference following a comfortable win at the Emirates the Gunners boss told the Daily Star: "We lost another experienced defender and that gives us a problem because we are really short.
"I was in the market anyway but for sure losing Debuchy means centre-back is a position where we are short."
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Who could Wenger sign?
There's no question that Arsenal have paid a heavy price for failing to sign a replacement for ex-Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen, who joined Barcelona last summer and left Wenger's side woefully short of cover for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence.
Wenger has to take the blame for that oversight, but with the January window well and truly open he now finally has the chance to atone for that error in judgement.
A number of cut-price options have been mentioned, including West Ham United stopper Winston Reid, Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin and Villareal's Brazilian standout Gabriel Paulista.
Arsenal fans won't be bowled over by any of those choices but the need to add strength in depth is clear for all to see, so expect the Gunners to be very busy in the closing stages of the January window.