Arsenal were rocked by the injury setback suffered by Rob Holding this month, while they’ve not been defensively sound in general this season.
As noted by BBC Sport, the 23-year-old has been ruled out for up to nine months after sustaining a serious knee injury, while Shkodran Mustafi also limped out of the win over Huddersfield at the weekend.
Even with those two fit and available for Unai Emery though, Arsenal have conceded 20 goals in 16 Premier League games so far this season, which gives them the worst defensive record of the top five sides in the standings.
In turn, that would suggest that Emery needs to find a way to tighten things up defensively, and the solution could come in the form of a January signing.
According to ESPN, the Gunners are targeting either Eric Bailly or Gary Cahill in the winter transfer window, although it’s suggested that it could be a complicated process to prise either away from Man Utd or Chelsea respectively.
It’s claimed United aren’t particularly eager to see Bailly leave, while Chelsea could have reservations over allowing Cahill to join a direct rival.
With that in mind, it does seem unlikely that either move will materialise, but perhaps much will also depend on the will of the individuals in question if they decide to push for exits in the New Year given their current lack of playing time.
Cahill’s current contract also expires at the end of the season, and so that would arguably make him the realistic option, as the Chelsea stalwart could add real experience and leadership in the Arsenal backline.
Nevertheless, if Emery prefers to think more long-term, then Bailly, 24, would surely be the priority and the Gunners could look to take advantage of his inability to establish himself as a regular in the starting line-up under Jose Mourinho.