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Ahead of Europa tie against Qarabag, Emery talks about January signings

Unai Emery

London, December 13: Arsenal could be forced to sign a centre-back in the January transfer window amid the club's defensive shortage, head coach Unai Emery admitted.

Emery's options in defence are limited after Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding suffered a season-ending knee injury last week, while veteran Laurent Koscielny is only set to make his first appearance since May in the Europa League against Qarabag on Thursday.

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Key duo Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi are suspended for Sunday's trip to Premier League strugglers Southampton, and Konstantinos Mavropanos has not played all season due to a groin injury.

Discussing the potential need for reinforcements, Emery told reporters: "If we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it's a good option. But a transfer is not easy."

Koscielny will make his long-awaited return in the Europa League after a ruptured Achilles robbed him of a place in France's World Cup-winning campaign.

An accumulation of yellow cards following the Premier League win over Huddersfield Town mean Sokratis and Mustafi are serving one-game suspensions, while Holding could be out for up to nine months due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament sustained against Manchester United.

Arsenal – amid a 21-match unbeaten streak in all competitions – have already qualified for the next round of the Europa League and sit fifth in the Premier League.

(With inputs from OPTA and other Agencies)

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    Story first published: Thursday, December 13, 2018, 8:20 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 13, 2018
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