Arsenal calls, including Carl Jenkinson loan, bemuse Charlie Nicholas

Ex-Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas bemused by some of Arsene Wenger's defensive decisions, including loaning Carl Jenkinson to West Ham United.

Arsene Wenger will point to the fact that he brought in Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers over the summer after seeing Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen head to Manchester City and Barcelona respectively.

Did he do enough, though, to bolster his defensive ranks?

Calls for greater depth to be added to the Arsenal squad have been doing the rounds for some time, with the Gunners quite obviously short of centre-half cover.

They have found themselves down to the bare bones at times this season, with an unfortunate run of injuries leaving them desperately short of options.

Charlie Nicholas believes these struggles have been of their own making, with Wenger having to shoulder some of the blame for failing to act quickly enough when the transfer window was open and making questionable calls such as allowing Carl Jenkinson to link up with Premier League rivals West Ham United on loan.

The former Arsenal forward told Sky Sports News: “He let it go too long in the summer, as soon as Vermaelen was sold. I don’t know why he let Jenkinson go out on loan, it just doesn’t make sense because they don’t have enough numbers. Even the youngsters have been injured too.

“(Nacho) Monreal at centre-half, that should never have been a position Arsenal had to play him. It’s not his fault, he came in and tried his best. It was too much for him. The excuses, you can accept some of them, but Debuchy is back now, Chambers has been suspended, but they have to sort this out.

“Coming up to Christmas, I think they have got six games until they get to January. It’s a lot to expect that this team is going to hold out. Look at Stoke, they were all soft goals, and that softness is still there. January is going to be important.”

Arsenal have been linked with a lengthy list of defenders heading into the next window, but it remains to be seen whether any will make their way to Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has been reluctant to add during January in the recent past, with Monreal acquired in 2013 and Kim Kallstrom taken on loan 12 months later.

He finds himself under mounting pressure, though, and will be aware that a spark is required from somewhere if the Gunners are to maintain a top-four push domestically and progress to the latter stages of the Champions League.

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