Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for up to 5 months following a knee injury picked up during the club’s pre- season schedule, as reported by the Mirror.
The German international was scheduled to depart for the USA as part of the club’s pre-season tour but will now remain at their London base for intensive rehabilitation.
The news leaves Arsenal very light at the back for the tour, given Koscienly will be absent following his Euro 2016 run with France and Gabriel Paulista has been ruled out with tonsillitis. It all means that new signing Rob Holding will have a fantastic opportunity to stake a claim for a starting berth come the start of the season. The 20 year old is likely to get plenty of game time stateside and will be keen to impress Wenger.
— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) July 25, 2016
Should the injury be as bad as feared and see the German international ruled out for five months, Arsenal will need to add a new defender to their transfer window shopping list.
Rumours abound as to how close the club are to securing the services of Rihad Mahrez. The quest for a new striker has occupied Arsenal all Summer, and signing a new defender will need to be a much more efficient purchase.
The injury is especially a big blow given that Wenger was expected to name Mertesacker as captain for the forthcoming season.
Arsenal of course have an unfortunate track record when it comes to injuries, which seems to apply especially strongly to club captains. Having been unveiled as captain in previous seasons, both Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen made little impression in the season in question due to injuries. It would appear that the same fate has befallen Mertesacker before Wenger even had a chance to announce his captaincy.
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