Wenger submits case for defence

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Arsene Wenger has plenty of options in defence now that Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou, and Sebastien Squillaci are all back fit, and ready to challenge Arsenal's primary centre-back partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for a first-team starting spot.

After resting Koscielny for the midweek UEFA Champions League draw against Marseille, Wenger will be forced to consider the balance of his back line before naming his teamsheet this weekend, with a host of players pushing for inclusion.

"The balance is vital," the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. "In fairness though, I must say that all the three can play with each other.

"Koscielny and Vermaelen can play together and Mertesacker can play with Vermaelen and Koscielny. It gives us a bit of an opportunity to rotate a bit when needed and people are tired."

The Gunners boss came under huge pressure to revamp the middle of his defence during the summer, but signed only German international Mertesacker. Now, though, Wenger has a welcome selection headache with increased competition for places against West Brom.

"Ideally, Vermaelen will play on the left [of the centre-back pair]. But Koscielny can play on the left as well so we have a good potential and balance there," he added.

"I think that all the three can play at any moment, and we still have Djourou and Squillaci as well.

"People wanted us to buy a centre-back so much and then suddenly you realise we have plenty."

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