Things have just got worse for the Gunners with Mikel Arteta sidelined for this weekends season opener and potentially up to six weeks after scans revealed a torn quadricep. Not only that, but the highly linked Luis Gustavo has opted to join Wolfsburg.
Firstly onto the the Spaniard, who has become an integral member of the squad and up to now was Arsenal’s main defensive shield in the heart of the midfield. Aaron Ramsey will now have to do the job alone or alongside Wilshere after essentially playing a deep lying pivot role alongside Arteta in the season run-in to great effect.
The initial rumours of an injury to Arteta sent shockwaves through the Gooner blogosphere, but unfortunately he will be missing for at the very least this weekend which is worrying as Arsenal’s squad is slowly thinning.
When asked whether Arteta’s injury is likely to keep him out for up to six weeks, Wenger revealed:
It could be as long as that, but honestly, we don’t know yet.
To make matters worse former Bayern Munich Luiz Gustavo, who had emerged as a realistic transfer target for the Gunners, has opted to join a mid-table Bundesliga side instead of Arsenal.
For a reported fee of around €20 million, Wolfsburg have secured the 26-year-old on a five-year deal as the Brazilian hopes to secure regular game time in a bid to make the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Wolfsburg general manager Klaus Allofs said in kicker:
We are delighted that we have Luiz with us.
While Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed:
In the name of FC Bayern I would like to thank Luiz Gustavo very much for his two-and-half years at FC Bayern.
With his calm but always friendly and professional character he has won many friends at our club. You could always rely on him and he had his part in winning the Treble for FC Bayern last season.
The news is devastating for Arsenal fans especially with Arteta’s injury. The Gunners squad is slowly depleting and the season hasn’t even started.
What the hell is Wenger thinking? Gustavo would play regularly for Arsenal, he’s experienced, very talented, is a versatile defensive minded player and available for a reasonable price. How was he not bought? It’s a disgrace. I’m fuming.
Arteta better get well soon, hope that bloody medical centre the Gunners spent a fortune on can fix him up quick…