Arsenal are a team struck by injuries, which threaten to derail their Premier League title challenge and Champions League revival.
The biggest concern has been Francis Coquelin getting ruled out until 2016, with his defensive midfield position one in which the club naively decided not to spend in the summer.
Arsene Wenger has left himself with a choice of veterans Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta in the middle, but is busy hatching an alternative plan.
That centres around former Southampton prospect Calum Chambers, a player the club spent £16 million on, two summers ago.
Chambers has played at centre-back and right-back, but has faded after a bright start at the club and at present is seen as no more than a back-up for either position.
A potential holding role in central midfield gives him the possibility to transform his career, and echo the way Eric Dier has seized a similar opportunity at Tottenham this season.
Last night Arsenal pushed ahead with their experiment, playing Chambers in defensive midfield in an under-21 clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.
The result was just what the Gunners wanted, winning 2-1, with Donyell Malen netting the winner for the North London side.
Chambers was involved throughout, and keen to get forward when he could, and the game was a good chance for him to learn and improve his match fitness.
Arsenal host Sunderland at the weekend, with Sam Allardyce's side looking for their third successive victory.
Wenger has a decision to make whether to throw him in, and Chambers will have to show in training this week that he is worth gambling on.
Here is a look at how Arsenal fans reacted to his performance...
Calum Chambers playing for the U21s.. He ain't that bad tbh.— OG12 (@ClinicalGiroud) November 30, 2015
Calum Chambers is a lovely bloke but the reserves is probably his level if we're being honest— #Jaded (@whatgap) November 30, 2015
Chambers already playing like Flamini. DM without Coq is covered lads! https://t.co/hB4E93zyor— Gabriel Monreal (@Diaboue) November 30, 2015
Chambers has impressed as a DM tonight. think he might start v Sunderland.— B is for Brian (@B_Nobility) November 30, 2015
We are down to the bones with 1st team players and Wenger is still allowing Chambers play for the U-21? What is wrong with this man— F. Jalani (@sir_jabulani) November 30, 2015