The joy of top teams, managers and fans is to see their players feature for their country at the World Cup. Arsenal fans have always enjoyed this privileged as their players are often amongst the preferred for their various countries when it comes to selection for the international mundials.
For the upcoming 2014 World Cup the core of Arsenal’s first team a la Mertesacker, Koscielny, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Cazorla, Giroud, Ozil and Podolski have been selected by their various countries to represent them at the World Cup but the participation of one of them hangs in the balance after suffering an injury in one of his countries pre-tournament warm-up games.
Who am I talking about? It is none other than midfielder-cum-winger Oxlade Chamberlain. The Gunner suffered a knee injury in England’s game against Valencia. Immediate scan has shown a ligament damage while recovery period is touted at 3 weeks but it could be worse and that might mean him pulling out of the tournament and that could cast a huge doubt on his preseason and start of next season for Arsenal.
Last year hasn’t really been a perfectly good year for Chamberlain. His form was spot on but his fitness was nothing to write home about. In the very first Premier League match last season Ox suffered a cruciate anterior ligament damage that saw him ruled of the first half of the season. On his return, he played well but missed some crucial matches in the run-in to the end of the season including the FA Cup final no thanks to a groin injury.
Despite the groin injury, he was still selected in England’s provisional 23- man squad and looked a sure bet until that injury against Valencia. I sincerely hope it is not severe ligament damage because if it is, he might be facing surgery and many months out and should this be the case, it would be a massive blow for Arsenal’s preparation for next season.
As sad as it might be, it could be a blessing in disguise for Arsenal. If the injury ends up being serious than first thought, the fact that it is happening now means Arsenal would have to get a new winger and have ample time to do that. Arsenal cannot afford to go into a new season with huge fitness doubt surrounding the two players that give them pace on the wings (Ox and Walcott), they have to bring in another pacy winger. The Gunners have been linked with moves for Di Maria, Griezmann and Reus. With the latest injury setback suffered by Chamberlain, Wenger has his back on the wall now and might just have to buy at least one of them.