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Unai Emery received a welcome boost last week with Laurent Koscielny finally making a return to the starting XI.
The Arsenal captain has been out of action since suffering an Achilles injury against Atletico Madrid in last season’s Europa League semi-final. The Frenchman has worked tirelessly to return to full fitness and was handed a start against Qarabag in the Europa League last week. Koscielny wasn’t troubled during his 72 minutes on the field as the Gunners strolled into the next round, securing a 1-0 win against the minnows.
Despite Koscielny’s return, Emery is still short of defensive depth as a result of injuries. Rob Holding is out for the foreseeable future with Shkodran Mustafi, and Konstantinos Mavropanos also set for a spell on the sidelines. The former PSG boss would be wise to target a new defender when the January transfer window reopens in less than a month.
One man who could be an excellent addition is Espanyol defender – Mario Hermoso. Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, the 23-year-old made his name in the Real Madrid youth academy but ultimately failed to break into the first-team at the Bernabeu. Instead, Hermoso joined his current employers on a free transfer last summer and has since developed into a crucial player in the back four.
The Spaniard has been one of the best defenders in La Liga this campaign and Arsenal should aim to lure him to the Premier League. Hermoso is blessed with tremendous pace for a defender which means he has no trouble keeping up with the paciest of attackers. As well as being an excellent defender, the Spain international is also a massive threat in the air, helping his side’s cause with two goals so far this season.