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Arsenal’s u23 team selection against Blackburn Rovers revealed a big issue the Gunners will have at left-back, when they face FC Vorskla at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
Jordi Osei-Tutu remains out injured, and Tolaji Bola took part in Monday’s clash with Blackburn Rovers. As we already know, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are both also on the sidelines, even if they are doing well in their respective recoveries.
Cohen Bramall is ineligible for the match, after Arsenal ran out of room on their Europa League squad list. That leaves Nacho Monreal as the only remaining left-back in the club.
If the Spaniard plays on Thursday, then Sunday, then Wednesday, then Saturday, after playing last Saturday as well, it’ll be a miracle to see him avoid an injury. The 32-year-old struggled with knocks a lot last campaign, and began this season in the same way.
What are the alternatives?
Julio Pleguezuelo isn’t a natural left-back, but he has experience in central defence and playing full-back on the right. Stephan Lichtsteiner played left-back earlier this season, so he’s also an option.
Perhaps Lichtsteiner could take the left-hand side again on Thursday, with Pleguezuelo giving Bellerin a rest on the right. It’s a bit of a makeshift back line, but would at least allow for some rotation.
Danny Welbeck reportedly played the position in training last month, but I don’t think he’d be anyone’s first choice left-back in a competitive fixture. We’ll see what Unai Emery decides.