It’s a rare and beautiful thing when someone in football admits they made a mistake, but Arsenal fans might have a hard time taking any solace from Arsene Wenger saying he should have bought another defender over the summer.
The Gunners’ current crisis can be traced back to their manager’s decision to ship out Thomas Vermaelen without buying another centre-half, and a very makeshift back four will line-up against Hull in their next match.
Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy are injured, while Calum Chambers is suspended, meaning Arsenal will likely field youngster Hector Bellerin at right-back and Nacho Monreal in the centre.
Wenger’s side are 11/25 to win the match, with the Tigers priced at 6/1 and the draw at 10/1.
However, as ever with Arsenal, help might be at hand in their prestigious youth ranks, with Isaac Hayden perhaps the man who could provide much-needed cover at the back.
The 19-year-old impressed even as the Gunners lost 2-1 to Southampton in the Capital One Cup earlier this term, and could challenge Monreal to be the fourth-choice centre-back for the first team.
The Spaniard has had more than his fair share of critics when playing in his favoured left-back position, and a poor showing against Hull could see Hayden given a chance ahead of him at some point if the Gunners’ injury problems persists.
Hayden has enjoyed a successful international break with the England U20 team, winning the Four Nations tournament in the Netherlands.
Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions beat Germany and the Netherlands before drawing with Turkey to win the competition.
The Arsenal defender has featured in five England youth sides from U16 up so far in his career, and could be in contention for a spot with the U21 side for next summer’s European Championship.
A few appearances for the Gunners first team would surely aid his cause, and given the lack of options Wenger currently has at his disposal, an early promotion for Hayden might well be on the cards.