Sebastien Squillaci vs Ignasi Miquel - Who should step up for Arsenal?

With Thomas Vermaelen out and Laurent Koscielny facing a late test one of the back-up brigade is going to be called upon for the game with Sunderland this Saturday. Who should it be?

Arsene Wenger has spoken about the injury concerns ahead of the fixture with Sunderland this weekend; with particular reference to the problems at centre back. He confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen would miss the game with an ankle problem while Laurent Koscielny faced a fitness test after pulling up lame in the France v Germany international friendly in Paris on Wednesday night.

The news will come as a worry for Arsenal fans as it leaves just Per Mertesacker as the main central defender in the first team squad; with Swiss international Johan Djourou currently out on loan at Bundesliga outfit Hannover.

The options for Wenger are minimal with it essentially boiling down to a straight slug between Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci and Spaniard Ignasi Miquel.

We take a look at who might get the nod to face Steven Fletcher and co this weekend.

Firstly if you look at it from one angle, experience, then there is a clear winner. Squillaci has played in the Champions League for Monaco and Lyon and even has 21 Les Bleus caps to his name (the collective shocked gasp from Arsenal fans is audible around the greater London area). Miquel on the other hand has not yet played steady first team football in his career. The former Barcelona youth teamer has only featured in four Premier League games for The Gunners and often played out of position at left-back.

However if you were to ask Arsenal fans I am quite sure the vast majority would prefer to see the young Spaniard over the Frenchman. The 32-year-old has been a poor purchase since arriving from Sevilla in 2010 and many Gunners fans are counting the days until his contract expires this summer.

Squillaci has featured once this season while the 2011-12 season only harboured six appearances for the club. Miquel played nine times last season and has also featured in two games this campaign. He even managed to score a goal in the League Cup tie with Coventry City.

He also plays on the left-hand side of defence and placing him in that position next to a fellow Spaniard in Nacho Monreal would potentially benefit both players massively throughout the game.

While I can’t safely predict what Arsene Wenger will do if Koscielny fails that late fitness test I think Miquel should certainly get the nod over the hagged Squillaci.

Who do you think is Arsenal’s fourth choice centre back?

images: ©, © wonker

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