Arsene Wenger still remains adamant and refusing to rush into the transfer market despite a major centre-back crisis.
The French boss said to have decided to field Collum Chambers and Nacho Monreal at the heart of his defence for Sunday’s visit of Liverpool in their Premier League opener, with Kieran Gibbs coming in at left-back.
Gabriel sustained an ankle ligament injury in Sunday’s 3-2 friendly win over Manchester City and the north London outfits are already without skipper Per Mertesacker, who will be out until the New Year with a knee injury.
Laurent Koscielny is back in training but still remains short of match-fit after returning late following his exploits with his country at Euro 2016.
Wenger had been expected to go for Valencia’s German centre back Shkodran Mustafi, who would cost around £21m.
But it is believed that he has yet to be convinced the 24-year-old is of the quality he wants.
A lack of activity in the transfer market has represented an auspicious start to the summer and with Arsenal already looking ill-prepared for a daunting looking opening run of Premier League fixtures, pressure is already growing on Wenger before a ball has been kicked in anger.
But Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists Wenger is the right man for the job and hinted he would stay beyond his current contract which expires this summer by revealing he is focused on long-term success.
Wenger has already missed out on striking targets Higuain and Jamie Vardy and Arsenal fans will almost certainly be concerned with the club’s recruitment strategy in terms of landing a new forward.
So far Arsenal have been rather conservative in the transfer market. Granit Xhaka was a big early buy, but only future prospects Takuma Asano and Rob Holding have arrived since.