There is almost a sense of Deja vu about this. Everytime one feels that Arsenal will finally have a fully fit squad at the start of the season, something goes horribly wrong. It was just a day ago when Arsene Wenger said in an interview,
“We are in a much stronger position now because last summer we lost Nasri and Fabregas, and on top of that we lost Diaby and Wilshere [to injury]. So we lost four players at the start of last season and that is not the case this time.”.
Maybe Wenger should have added ‘touchwood’.
Arsenal will already be missing Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong during the start of this season. That was followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being withdrawn from the England squad due to an ankle problem. And now perhaps most worryingly for Wenger, Laurent Koscielny seems to have a calf problem.
France manager Didier Deschamps spoke to the press –
“We have a problem with Laurent Koscielny who has a problem with his calf. He will be examined this afternoon but it seems difficult to play him on Wednesday.”
Although Koscielny’s withdrawal might be cautionary in nature, this would certainly ring some alarm bells for Arsene Wenger, especially when it seemed that the Gunners have assembled a team strong enough to mount a sustainable title challenge. Arsenal might be starting the season bit short at the back, with no new defensive signings made this season.
Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen might start the upcoming fixture against Sunderland, with Djourou or Jenkinson covering for the injured Sagna.
To sustain any sort of title challenge that the Gunners might come up with, Arsene Wenger surely needs to buy at least one defender before the transfer window closes, or else a couple of serious injuries might leave them heavily exposed at the back.