Gabriel injury problem ‘not serious’

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel Paulista says he feels “much better” after injuring his ankle on Sunday and has assured fans he did not suffer a serious problem.

Gabriel, 25, was in severe pain and had to be carried off the pitch near the end of Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester City in their final preseason warmup in Sweden, and it has been reported that the Brazil defender is facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

Arsene Wenger’s initial diagnosis was an ankle sprain and, while the club has yet to provide an update on Gabriel’s status after he underwent a scan on Monday, the player himself wrote on Instagram on Tuesday: “Today I feel much better, is not a big problem.”

Wenger is facing a severe shortage of experienced central defenders for Sunday’s Premier League opener against Liverpool.

Laurent Koscielny only returned to preseason training on Monday after France’s run to the Euro 2016 final and Wenger has previously said he would not be ready for Liverpool.

Per Mertesacker, meanwhile, is out for months with a knee injury, leaving 21-year-old Calum Chambers as their most experienced option.

It means 20-year-old Rob Holding, who was brought in from Bolton last month, could be handed an early competitive debut, unless Wenger decides to move left-back Nacho Monreal into the centre.

The injury crisis has increased the pressure on Arsenal to sign a new defender, with Valencia’s Germany international Shkodran Mustafi reportedly their top target.

 Report by ESPN/