Not Mustafi: Arsenal make approach for France international – report

The specifics of the Arsenal injury list don’t read well for Arsene Wenger right now. Call it bad luck or bad planning but the gods do seem to have conspired against him on the eve of the season with Gabriel Paulista the latest centre back to be crocked.

Laurent Koscielny is also fighting to be fit for the new season and in an ideal world he would be rested for the first game.

But Per Mertesacker has been injured for some time and Arsenal do tend to leave it until last minute to part with their transfer cash don’t they?

Rob Holding has had a decent pre-season and could potentially be used. But Arsenal play the attacking might of Liverpool in their season opener so it’s not ideal.

Shkrodan Mustafi looks as if he may come in but won’t be available for the opener so it’s a bit of a mess.

But the season is a marathon not a sprint and the latest player to be linked to Arsenal is Barcelona star Jeremy Mathieu.

The 32-year-old veteran has had a decent time of it in La Liga and played 75 times with 3 goals plundered for Barcelona in his two seasons there.

But Barcelona have signed defensive reinforcements of their own this summer and Mathieu could be an interesting and available option.

Capped 5 times by France he’s something of a Steady Eddie like Per Mertesacker. He doesn’t have great pace or athleticism but he reads the game well and seldom commits howlers at the back.

So this one could happen. Certainly Wenger must be looking at more than one centre back considering the status quo.

Here are some of his better moments.

Arsenal fans: an able recruit?