Arsenal boss Unai Emery working on plan to solve centre-back crisis

Tanya Simon
December 15, 2018

The 17-year-old was making his full debut having previously made two appearances as a substitute earlier on in the competition, and he came agonisingly close to becoming the Gunners youngest ever European scorer.

"I think we are doing our way and improving, but the reality is that we need more".

It makes the risk of asking Koscielny to go straight back into action all the more acute, with full-backs Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal and midfielders Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny among the possible options for the heart of defence.

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"I have one idea in my mind but we need to [work in training] and to know how they will recover physically, for the possibility of playing on Sunday".

Some of the players appeared barely unrecognisable, with playmaker Mesut Ozil wrapped up in a large snood and head-wear. "We don't have Mustafi, we don't have Rob Holding, we don't have Sokratis, but I believe in my players and I think we can use another player like a centre-back. Lacazette, I think he needs rhythm, and it's not bad for him to play today". "The doctor said to me he thinks on Saturday he can train and be okay for Sunday".

Southampton are 19th in the Premier League, but Emery warned that their position is misleading, and he expects new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to have an immediate impact. "And today Saka also, he played with a good performance with a very big personality", Emery said. Asked about the promising young winger after the game, Emery said: "Every young player, we have a responsibility with them to give them chances, first training with us and being very demanding with [their] performance". They show us in every match positive things. "But for us it's also very important".

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