Arsenal’s defensive injury crisis has worsened after defender Gabriel was carried off on a stretcher in their 3-2 pre-season victory over Manchester City.
It is too early for the Gunners to know the full extent of the problem but it could cause manager Arsene Wenger problems in central defence just a week ahead of the club’s opening game of the new Premier League campaign.
Per Mertesacker is expected to be out until the new year after he sustained a knee injury, while Laurent Koscielny will probably not be ready for the visit of Liverpool having not yet resumed full training following his exertions at this summer’s European Championships with France.
“We are very short,” Wenger said.
“Laurent’s back in training but Liverpool may come a bit soon. We’re short in defence at the moment.”
“We have not even made a diagnosis in the medical room with our doctors or physios yet. I can’t tell you more. He’s in pain.
“Let’s hope the pain is not a sign of bad news. The only thing we have to know now is how big the damage is with his ligament.
“He played the ball 100 per cent and I think he rolled his ankle, but I don’t know how it happened. It’s part of our game.
“Maybe he was a bit tired, I don’t know. Was his coordination a bit weaker, I don’t know. Was he locked in the grass with his studs…I have to speak to him.
“He’s just come out of a medical room and he’s not in a better state because he couldn’t even talk on the pitch.”
Sergio Aguero put City ahead in Gothenburg but goals from Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom turned the game on its head. Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the deficit before a lengthy stoppage after the injury to Gabriel, who had to be carried from the field following a clash with Raheem Sterling.