Arsenal star Jack Wilshere could be facing up to four months on the sidelines, after he suffered ligament damage during the 2-1 home to loss to Manchester United on Saturday.
According to the Daily Mail the Gunners star will need surgery to properly fix his ankle, and that means he might not be available for selection until around March next year. Wilshere went down in agony after a meaty challenge by United youngster Paddy McNair, and even if he opts not to be operated on he’ll still spend a long-time watching from the stands.
It’s a huge blow for Wenger, who has seen his Arsenal side decimated by injuries of late. The return of Olivier Giroud, who bagged a consolation goal late on at the Emirates last weekend, offered a glimpse of hope that the worst was over, but Wilshere’s complaint leaves his manager with plenty to fret over.
The likes of Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott, Mathieu Debuchy and Mesut Ozil all find themselves either struggling to make a return or completely ruled out for the foreseeable future, and Wenger has already had to juggle his squad selections as a result.
Plugging the gap
Now it looks as though the purchase of a central midfielder in the January transfer window - which was rumoured to be a priority anyway - is fast becoming a necessity, and the fans will be forgiven for expecting a player of Sami Khedira’s ilk to join the team in the New Year.
Until then figures such as Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey will have to step up their game, as neither as looked too convincing in the middle of the park. Arteta, who became club captain when Thomas Vermaelen left for Barcelona in the summer, could be beginning to show the effects of his ageing legs whilst Ramsey has yet to produce the sort of form which saw him romp to near the top of the scoring charts in the early days of last term.
Next up for Arsenal is tonight’s clash against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, which could be a barometer for how well Wenger’s team can hope to cope without Wilshere. Giroud is already out thanks to a decision on the club’s part not to register him, and so supporters can expect to see some surprises in the lineup.