Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger had big problems regarding the injuries in the squad since the start of the season, and things are not looking too bright right now either. It seems that whenever a Gunner comes back from injury another one or two get hurt and the Frenchman is running out of solutions fast.
The biggest problem Wenger is facing at the moment is in the defensive area. Despite Arsenal has a fair number of top class central defenders, Wenger had to name Song as a centre back for two of this season’s games due to big injury problems in that area.
So let’s start with the defence:
Vermaelen is out since the start of the season with an ankle injury, and despite Wenger’s first assessment that he would return after the international break, the last update from the Frenchman read: “It will be a fraction longer than expected [before he returns]. He will not be straight back [in the squad] after the international break. It will be one or two weeks later.”
Both Koscielny and Djourou missed the game at White Hart Lane against Tottenham, but they were called-up to their national teams for the International games, so they are expected to return on Sunday against Sunderland.
The biggest problem Wenger has to face is that of the French right-back Bacary Sagna who got injured in the game against Tottenham after a bad challenge, and had to undergo surgery on his right foot’s fibula. The French international defender is not expected to be back until at least 3 months time given the difficulty of the surgery.
Moving towards the midfield section, we can see that there is no breaking news to speak about. The only two injured players are Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere. The Englishman still has a long way to go until coming back on the pitch after he suffered surgery on his ankle, and Wenger gave an approximation right after the procedure: “It is very difficult to predict how long he will be out, but at least four months certainly.”
Abou Diaby on the other hand is finally fit after being out since May, and Arsenal’s manager is expecting the French midfielder to be back soon. “Diaby is three or four weeks. So it should be after the international break.”
The most important thing for Wenger is to get back at least one or two of his central defenders. Although doing a good job in the Champions League game against Greek side Olympiakos, Song’s offensive abilities cannot be snubbed by forcing him to play in the defence. Perhaps when Vermaelen will be back and he will make a pair in the centre of the defence with Mertesacker, Arsenal’s defensive problems will become history.
Who do you think will have the biggest impact in the team when he comes back to complete fitness?