Arsene Wenger revealed that Laurent Koscielny was suffering from a back problem ahead of Arsenal's game against Leicester City but was cleared to play in the morning leading to the fixture. The Gunners conceded four goals against Liverpool with a centre-back pairing of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, with Wenger deciding to bench Chambers for the game to accommodate Koscielny.
"I saw that we were a bit too young [in defence] and I have no real solution at central defence at the moment. In fairness he had a big back problem yesterday when he came out of the training. We came with 19 players and this morning we decided that he could play and I think it saved us this point," Wenger said.
"We look a different team straight away and he gave us stability against a team that attacks very well," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "I think he was very important."
The Gunners are extremely short at the back with injuries to Gabriel and Per Mertesacker, which has forced Wenger to dive into the market where he has confirmed Arsenal's interest in signing Shkodran Mustafi. However, Arsenal have been dealt a major blow, with Valencia ramping up their valuation of the defender, which has forced the north London club to look at other options.
Arsenal are also without Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck, while Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud are still recovering from their travails in the Euros. The duo came on as a second half substitute against Leicester while Koscielny played the entire ninety minutes, despite having picked up a knock in training, as confirmed by Wenger.
The Gunners have accumulated only a solitary point from their first two games and will be desperate for a win when they travel to Vicarage park to take on Watford. In contrast, the Manchester clubs and Chelsea have won their respective games and are currently well on their way to what is expected to be a hard fought title challenge.