Gabriel injury adds to Arsenal’s defensive worries

Gabriel injury adds to Arsenal’s defensive worries

Arsenal’s Brazilian central defender Gabriel was carried off on a stretcher after damaging ankle ligaments during their 3-2 pre-season win over Manchester City in Gothenburg on Sunday.

“He’s in pain. Let’s hope the pain isn’t a sign of bad news,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told a news conference. “It’s an ankle sprain.”

Arsenal have already lost Per Mertesacker for several months with a knee problem leaving Calum Chambers and Laurent Koscielny as their only experienced centre backs with a tough opening Premier League match looming at home to Liverpool next Sunday.

Wenger did not rule out bringing in another defender before the transfer window closes on August 31.

“I’ve said many times that we are in the market. Of course, it’s not an easy market for us. Let’s hope we have good news from Gabriel,” the French coach said.

Koscielny played for France at Euro 2016, featuring in the final defeat by Portugal, and has only just returned to training with Wenger reluctant to put him straight in the team.

“Laurent Koscielny is back in training (on Monday) but he might be short for next week. If Gabriel is out, Per Mertesacker is out and Koscielny not ready – that’s a lot of players.”