Arsenal have been handed a defensive crisis with just over two weeks to go until the new Premier League season gets underway.
That’s because soon to be captain Per Mertesacker has picked up a nasty injury to his knee and is set to spend at least five months on the sidelines.
Arsenal officially announced the injury to the BFG when their preliminary was announced for this weeks pre-season tour to USA where they will take part in two friendly games.
Mertesacker may be out for 5 months with a knee injury. Certainly out for US tour. Gabriel also still out. #afc
— Sam (@samuelJayC) July 25, 2016
It’s a situation that provides Arsene Wenger with a massive selection headache, regardless of their choices for pre-season, things get worse for the Gunners boss.
Whilst Mertesacker is ruled out completely, Laurent Koscielny will miss the opening tie against Liverpool which leaves Wenger’s familiar centre-back duo missing altogether.
Instead, Wenger will now have to rely on Gabriel, who is missing the trip to US due to illness and youngster Calum Chambers who’s failed to get a run of games in the first team.
It’s not the worst problem in the world but those two have barely had any playing time together and Gabriel’s absence from pre-season doesn’t allow Wenger any prep-time.
Instead, new £2.5m signing Rob Holding will have to play the majority of pre-season despite coming into the side just days ago.
Pressure will now move on to Wenger’s shoulders to sign a top-class defender before the transfer window ends in just over a month’s time.
Plenty of names have already been linked to the Gunners but hesitation was growing due to the capture of Holding and emergence of Chambers who’s starting to look confident.
Time will only tell but it’s going to be another frantic spending spree in a limited market, but don’t be surprised to see Wenger wait until the final week to get his cheque book out.