Arsenal morning news: Wenger says Debuchy better than Sagna; 'next Higuain' linked

Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy

All the latest news and gossip from The Emirates Stadium this Boxing Day.

Arsene Wenger has been discussing the injury crisis at Arsenal this season. The Gunners boss has seen a long list of injuries throughout this campaign with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny on the long list of absentees.

"I don’t think we have gone backwards in the quality of our squad...

"I can’t deny that we are behind much more than last year because we had a depleted squad since the start of the season and no stability. The fact we got so many important injuries at the back cost us too much. We lost Debuchy and Koscielny at the same period for three months. It’s too much.

“We had too many players who came back after the World Cup not ready to compete again and then you look at the number of players that we lost when they just came back to their best. We had no Walcott, no Wilshere, no Özil, no Debuchy, no Koscielny, no Giroud, no Arteta for long periods. It’s like you have half of the squad out.”

Arsenal are being strongly linked Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri this morning.

Reports in Italy are linking with the player with Arsenal for the January transfer window. He is currently at Argentine giants Boca Juniors and has been compared to Gonzalo Higuain, a player Arsene Wenger is a known fan of.

In Wenger's pre-match assessment ahead of this evening's game with QPR he discussed Mathieu Debuchy moving into the centre of defence with injury issues for the likes of Laurent Koscielny.

And in discussing Debuchy's form, he made the assertion that he is in fact a better player than the man he replaced in the summer, Bacary Sagna.

“[Before signing him] I watched him at the World Cup closely because I was watching every France game. That convinced me that he’s reliable and committed, that his timing going forward is very efficient and overall his game is intelligent. There are similarities with Sagna but he got in front of Sagna at the World Cup. What I saw convinced me he was the right buy.”

Arsenal team news for the QPR game sees the likes of Tomas Rosicky, David Ospina and Yaya Sanogo possibly return to first-team action. However, the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny are all out, as well as the long list of long-term absentees.

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