At the time of Florian Lejeune’s loan move to Alaves last month, most Mags (including myself) probably felt as though it was a smart deal for all parties.
That said, this was based on the assumption we’d bring in another centre-back, with it seeming pretty certain that it would be one out, on in on that front.
A few weeks on, it’s looking more and more likely that the clock will strike 11pm without us bringing in a replacement.
A seemingly imminent deal for Arsenal’s Rob Hodling fell through, but we still had another month to find someone to cover for Lejeune – and we needed one based on our sudden lack of options at the back.
Right now, Federico Fernandez is our only fit central defender.
Bruce stated on Saturday night that Lascelles could return to training next week, but with Schar at risk of another spell on the sidelines, Lejeune back in Spain and both Dummett and Clark struggling to stay fit, we suddenly look short in an area where we used to be spoilt for choice.
With all the above in mind and our sudden lack of urgency to bring in a centre-back, our decision to let Lejeune leave is looking like a short-sighted on.
OK, he may benefit hugely from some regular game time in Spain and is believed to have done well so far – helping them to another clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Athletico Bilbao over the weekend – but we’re going to look a bit silly watching him shine at Alaves if Schar’s shoulder injury is bad and the likes of Clark and Dummett can’t stay fit.
We clearly wanted another centre-back as Rob Holding was all set to sign if Arsenal didn’t pull the plug, making this transfer U-turn a bizarre one – especially now we have a few new injuries to worry about at the back.