Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger could alleviate injury crisis with move for free agents Diego Lugano and Joseph Yobo - reports

Clubs can sign free agents throughout the season and the centre-backs are currently without a club

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger could be about to concede that it was a mistake not to sign another defender in the transfer window after reports emerged claiming Arsenal are looking to alleviate their injury crisis with a move for two free agents – Diego Lugano and Joseph Yobo.

With Matieu Debuchy ruled out for up to three months with damaged ankle ligaments and a lack of depth at the back, Wenger was forced to hand 19-year-old right-back Hector Bellerin his first Arsenal start in the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. The defeat not only leaves the Gunners’ chances of clinching top spot in Group D hanging by a thread, but also makes their quest for qualification alone much harder.

Calum Chambers, who was signed form Southampton in the summer for £16m, looks set to deputise for Debuchy on the right-flank, which leaves no cover for central duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. But with the transfer window shut, Wenger’s hands are somewhat tied in the availability of players he can bring in.

The Frenchman can look to sign a free agent or two should he feel the need to, which according to the Daily Mail is an avenue he is currently considering. With Debuchy ruled out of action until the start of December, a short-term free agent could help provide cover at the back as Arsenal’s season steps up with commitments in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League set to take centre stage in the run up to Christmas.

 

Lugano made on appearance for Uruguay in the World Cup during the summer after he was released by West Brom having spent last season with the Baggies. The former Uruguay captain only made 12 league appearances though, and his lack of pace – he was never gifted with a turn of speed at the best of times – would raise alarm bells should he face the pace-laden attacks of the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and the two Manchester sides.

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Arsene Wenger pictured during the 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund

At 33 years old, Lugano is no spring chicken, but he is younger than Yobo. The 34-year-old former Everton defender has spent time with both Fenerbahce and Norwich since leaving the Toffees, but would provide considerable experience with over 100 caps for Nigeria and is another who has captained his country.

However, a move for either player would certainly be a step down in quality given the additions of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil over the past two seasons, and it would likely infuriate Arsenal fans further that the club did not move for another defender.

As things stand, the Gunners have just five first-team defenders fit with Wenger calling Bellerin up to try and bolster that number, and there remains a concern over the fitness of Nacho Monreal (who missed the trip to Dortmund with a minor back injury) and Chambers, who is suffering from tonsillitis.

Arsenal were linked with Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic on deadline day, but a move failed to go through before the 11pm cut-off.

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