What’s The Matter With … Andre Santos leaving Arsenal?
Arsenal certainly have their fair share of defensive injuries at present and although many of the Gunners’ faithful will be more than happy to see the back of Andre Santos, his absence against Bayern Munich could be felt more than normal.
The fact Arsene Wenger went out and signed Nacho Monreal on deadline day when Kieran Gibbs suffered his latest injury setback suggests that the manager is reluctant to rely on Santos as first-choice left back.
Gibbs is definitely out of both legs of Arsenal’s Champions League last-16 tussle with Bayern Munich, while Monreal is cup tied having previously played for Malaga in the competition this year.
Meanwhile, if Santos heads to Gremio on loan like reports suggest he is on the brink of doing, Arsenal may well have a serious selection headache against a Bayern Munich team that have scored at least twice in nine of their last 11 games in all competitions.
This is also a Bayern Munich team that have Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben terrorising the full-backs and as a result Arsenal are 11/5 to qualify for the quarter finals.
The three alternate options that Wenger has at left-back are Thomas Vermaelen, Ignasi Miquel and Bacary Sagna.
Vermaelen is currently out with an ankle injury and although he is due back in light training in the coming days, there are concerns that the issue may require surgery to put right.
Laurent Koscielny is another on the injury list after damaging his calf in the warm-up to the Sunderland victory, but hopes are higher that he will recover to face Bayern.
If this happens, Sagna may well play at left-back, opposite Carl Jenkinson.
But if Koscielny misses out, young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel may have to deputise at left-back, with Sagna partnering Per Mertesacker in the heart of the defence as he did at Sunderland when Arsenal kept a clean sheet.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date