Arsenal seek quick fix as 32-year-old stalwart linked with solving defensive crisis

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Arsenal have reportedly enquired about Barcelona veteran defender Jeremy Mathieu as they look to ease their concerns in defence.

The 32-year-old joined the Catalan giants in a move from Valencia in 2014, making 75 appearances in all competitions for the club as he filled a similar void for them as their lack of centre-halves became an issue.

With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel sidelined long-term with injuries, Arsene Wenger is left with few options in defence, particularly this weekend.

Laurent Koscielny will not be rushed back into action as he remains behind in terms of match fitness following an extended break after Euro 2016, and so Wenger will be forced into fielding Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as his central defensive pairing.

While he will undoubtedly have faith in their ability to perform well, that is not the calibre of player that will take them far in the coming weeks given their inexperience, and so Mathieu could be a sensible addition.

According to The Sun, the Frenchman could now fill that void, with the Gunners hitting a huge stumbling block in their bid to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, with his father dismissing the transfer talk and insisting that his alleged agent isn’t his representative.

In turn, Mathieu could now become a more realistic option, and while he isn’t the long-term solution, he could be a quick and effective fix.

Given his natural position on the left hand side of a back two, he’ll allow Koscielny to shift over onto the right and with his experience, he could be a valuable member of the squad both on and off the pitch.

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