Arsène Wenger revealed on Friday that Per Mertesacker is expected to be a long-term absentee following surgery on his ankle after the German suffered ligament damage during the Gunners’ 2-1 victory over Sunderland last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny will miss Arsenal’s trip to the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup fifth round due to a knee injury picked up against AC Milan on Wednesday night.
It leaves Djourou, who has deputised at right-back for Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson over the winter months, as Wenger’s preferred option to fill the vacated centre-half role alongside Thomas Vermaelen.
“I am happy to be back in my position and to show what I am worth,” Djourou told Arsenal’s website.
“This season has been a bit harder for me. I have had to play out of position where I am not used to but I have tried to do my job, but I am not a natural right back.
“People forget and think that if you play in a position, ‘Johan Djourou is a right back’, but I am not, I was there to help the team. Now I am back in my position and I will show everyone my qualities.”
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