Arsenal linked with two free agent World Cup captains in bid to solve defensive crisis

With a mounting injury list in defence, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking at Diego Lugano or Joseph Yobo as free agent options.

Arsenal have endured a tricky start to the season so far, winning just twice in all competitions as fans grow increasingly tetchy over bizarre decisions made by manager Arsene Wenger - such as playing Mesut Ozil on the left wing and not signing defensive cover in the summer when Thomas Vermaelen was sold to Barcelona for £15m.

It's now little surprise to see Arsenal struggling in defence. Mathieu Debuchy was taken off injured against Manchester City at weekend and could face up to three months on the sidelines, and with his backup Calum Chambers having to play as cover in the centre of defence for Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, the Gunners are getting more and more stretched - especially with left back Kieran Gibbs still out too.

Wenger's poor summer decision making meant that youngster Hector Bellerin was thrown in at the deep end against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, and the Spaniard was part of a dire Arsenal side which lost 2-0 in Germany having been outrun, outfought and outclassed by Jurgen Klopp's men.

That defensive horror show appears to have been enough for Wenger to consider signing a free agent outside of the transfer window, though supporters may not be any happier to hear who they are.

The first is Uruguayan World Cup captain Diego Lugano. The 33-year-old made his name with Sao Paulo before making his big move to Europe in 2006 with Fenerbahce, and his consistent displays in over 150 appearances led to Paris Saint-Germain taking him away from Turkey and into the French capital. After just 12 appearances for PSG and 11 on loan at Malaga, Lugano made the move to the Premier League as Steve Clarke signed him to be West Brom's defensive lynchpin.

The move didn't work out though, as Lugano's crippling lack of pace was exposed in the Premier League, and after appearing in only 12 games for the Baggies, Lugano's contract was terminated a year before its expiration, and he's been without a club for four months now.

The other is ex-Everton star Joseph Yobo. The Nigerian had been constantly linked with a move to Arsenal during his peak at Goodison Park, but moved to Fenerbahce in 2010 - where he spent a season alongside Lugano in their defence. Having fallen out of favour last season, Yobo was back in England with Norwich, but couldn't help the Canaries stay in the Premier League, playing only eight times before captaining Nigeria at this summer's World Cup in Brazil. With no future in Turkey, Yobo was released prior to the start of the season and is still a free agent.

At 34 and 33 respectively, Lugano and Yobo are past their best and will hardly set the pulses racing at the Emirates Stadium, but outside of the transfer window, all Arsenal need is depth. If they can provide the occasional start without costing the club too much, then Wenger may see it as the answer to the Gunners' recent injury woes.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch