Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has dropped a huge indication that he would be open to axing his current captain Per Mertesacker in favour of new boy Gabriel.
The Brazilian defender has made two appearances for the Gunners since his £11m move from Villareal last month, coming off the bench in the final minutes of the win at Selhurst Park last weekend but is yet to make a start in the Premier League.
Wenger saw his esteemed back-four activate self-destruct in the midweek Champions League first leg clash against Monaco and after expressly stating his disappointment at some of the “irrational” behaviour on show, he has made it clear his intention to make necessary changes to his team for the visit of Everton on Sunday.
When questioned on his possible line-up and dropping Mertesacker, the man who had admitted that the Gunners were “naive” against Monaco replied:
“I have not made any decision yet for Sunday’s game. We will have to rotate a little bit, because we play Sunday and Wednesday. There will certainly be some changes.” Wenger said according to Arsenal.com
With consecutive away trips to QPR and Manchester United to come after this, rotation would surely be required to manage the squad properly, at the same time keeping the team stabilized and at the required level of competition.
Mertesacker has played every minute of the league so far this season since making his first appearance against Everton in the first round of fixtures, a game which the German would not have fondly remembered for its shocking first 45 minutes.
He might as well be given a rest for this reverse fixture for the Gabriel-Koscielny partnership to have a second run. Both were the anchor of the defence for the FA Cup win over Middlesbrough and though communication levels will still be relatively at a struggling stage, both seem to have the athleticism and doggedness that many define as the best traits of Premier league defenders.
That is not to disregard Mertesacker’s influence in the team in the past three seasons as no one has played more games for Arsenal since he arrived the Emirates in 2011 and picking him that regularly would not have been due to mere favouritism on the gaffer’s part.
For Sunday, however, he may have to sit next to Steve Bould and Wenger to join in seeing things better; hopefully, it will charge him up when he returns to the team.
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