LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Kieran Richardson of Sunderland holds off Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on October 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Arsenal "transfer rumors": there aren't any.
Here's what the boss had to say:
"Gibbs is back in full training on Monday, and Vermaelen can [also] play left back and he is fit. [Andre] Santos will be fit in March," he said.
"Three left backs, plus Sagna - who can play there - is four. We are not [shopping for a] left back."
More after the jump:
So that's it, then. While I sympathize with the difficulty of keeping multiple players happy at one position and trying to fit everyone into a 25-man registered squad, I cannot help but be worried about Kieran Gibbs. He's a good player when fit, but that's a bit like saying a penguin is an excellent flyer when he's an eagle, at this point. I really do hope he puts together a wonderful run of matches, because the club needs him badly.
As for Thomas Vermaelen, he's a serviceable left back, and he's played there for Ajax and Belgium. However, I don't know that one'd find anyone who would prefer him at left back. He has a tendency to drop off towards the center, which leaves him positionally troubling at fullback sometimes (e.g. Manchester United's second goal on Sunday, where he wasn't around to help the struggling Andrei Arshavin against Antonio Valencia).
And saying Arsenal could use Bacary Sagna at left back...okay, well, then, who plays right back?
I don't have any solutions to the problem that don't involve taking on yet more wages and trying to fit players into an already weirdly bloated squad, but this is troubling somehow, anyway.