Arsene Wenger is ready to recall Per Mertesacker earlier than expected as Arsenal experience their first injury crisis on the season.
The Germany international missed Arsenal's opening Premier League game against Crystal Palace after returning late from the World Cup. Mertesacker, along with teammates Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, were allowed extra time off as Germany won the tournament in Brazil.
Calum Chambers was given him Premier League debut for Arsenal at the weekend and it was expected Mertesacker would return to the line-up for next Monday's game against Everton. However, early injury concerns to Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs are forcing Wenger to consider recalling Mertesacker for Tuesday's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas.
Speaking to reporters ahead of travelling to Turkey, Wenger said: "We will assess Koscielny today. If he is capable of playing, I will play him. I planned to bring the Germans back for our game against Everton next week but, in case of emergency, I will take Mertesacker.
"The Gibbs situation makes it even more tricky. We are a bit short. I hope that Koscielny responds well. It's a bit early for Per, ideally he would need one more week preparation. But he's willing to play. No problem."
Unfortunately, injury problems are nothing new to Gibbs in particular. The left-back has suffered a myriad of injuries in his short career. Nacho Monreal will be able to cover for the Gunners in the crucial away leg of the qualifier, but centre-back will be causing Wenger more concern.
Although Chambers has been impressive, the 19-year-old is lacking in experience. Eventually, the youngster will be caught out and the effects on his confidence could be noticeable.
Arsenal's problems with injuries have been well documented over the last few seasons with Wenger's side seeming to suffer from more afflictions than any other Premier League team. Shad Forsythe, Germany's national fitness expert, was poached in the summer with the intention of stopping to problem. However, it appears he hasn't been able to iron out the issues just yet.
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