Latest Update On Gabriel Paulista Injury
Arsene Wenger is still trying to digest the news of Gabriel’s ankle injury after the Brazilian had to be taken off in injury time of Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester City on Sunday evening.
The injury, which came in the 92nd minute of Arsenal’s final pre-season game before they begin their Premier League campaign against Liverpool at The Emirates this coming Sunday, is a big blow to the Gunners’ preparation. It’s even more disappointing as it comes hot on the heels of the news that Per Mertesacker will be sidelined until the new year having picked up a knee injury in an earlier pre-season game with Lens, which leaves Wenger desperately short of options in the heart of his defence. It leaves the Frenchman with just Laurent Koscielny as a recognised senior centre back, yet he has only recently returned from his summer break after his exploits with France in Euro 2016.
Speaking on Gabriel’s injury to Arsenal.com, Wenger had this to say:
“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.
I’ve never seen an intelligent accident, they always look stupid. We have to take that. 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.”
Wenger rumoured to be looking at bringing in an experienced centre back before Gabriel’s unfortunate injury in order to help cover the loss of Mertesacker; now, it must be a priority.
The problem then instantly becomes who is available, and how quickly can they be brought into the side? West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans was rumoured to be of interest to the club, as reported by The Express, and the Northern Irishman does have plenty of Premier League experience. The suggested price of £10m might not be enough to prise him from The Hawthorns, given the latest TV deal has given each Premier league club deeper pockets, but he would serve a purpose during a time of crisis for Wenger, and Evans himself has looked better as a player since his departure from Manchester United last summer.
Either way, Wenger will need to act quickly and decisively in order to make sure he has a defence to take his team into the league season with. Despite Arsenal’s bad luck, there is still plenty of time to fix the club’s defensive worries; it’s up to Wenger to make sure that it’s used correctly