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Unai Emery has revealed that signing a new centre-back will be Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window.
The Gunners are facing a crisis at the heart of defence ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton, with four senior defenders potentially missing.
Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are definitely out, Shkodran Mustafi has a hamstring problem and Sokratis Papstathopoulos is suspended.
Laurent Koscielny will make his first start this season against Qarabag in the Europa League tonight and may be forced to play two games in four days.
It means that Emery is prioritising a centre-back next month, as the Gunners look to secure a top four finish in the Spaniard’s first season in charge.
“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” Emery said.
“The transfer (window) is not easy… Koscielny is coming back and for the team it’s very important he is coming back.
“Then we are going to wait and see how Mavropanos is improving with his injuries, because he is also a centre-back who can help us.
“Another option we can play with two, with three, Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner can play in this position. I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”