Arsenal man Mathieu Debuchy confirmed today that the injury he suffered during Saturday’s game against Manchester City was in fact a ligament injury. The 29 year old French international went down inexplicably during the game, and was carried off the field soon after. The injury was serious enough to require the administration of oxygen on the pitch.
Given Arsenal’s bad luck with injuries and the lack of defensive depth, the last thing fans would have wanted was a long term injury to their first choice right back. But today on Facebook, Debuchy confirmed that it was indeed a ligament tear.
No fracture but one broken ligament… I have to wait until Friday in order to know if I must have surgery.
This does not bode well for Wenger or Arsenal, and the possibility is high that Debuchy will have to have surgery on his ankle. This means that he would be ruled out until December at the earliest, a massive blow for the Gunners.
While during the incident itself it just looked like a minor injury, and the player was quick to confirm there was no fracture, the ligament damage comes at the worst possible time for an Arsenal side still struggling to find rhythm in the back. This leaves fellow new signing Calum Chambers and youngster Bellerin as the only remaining options for Wenger.
While Chambers has experience in the position from his Southampton days, at Arsenal he has so far played exclusively as a centre back. And the lack of depth in that position as well makes Wenger’s job even more difficult. Chambers is also recovering from tonsillitis, which kept him out of the game against Dortmund.
The last remaining option, Bellerin, was handed a debut in the game against Dortmund, walking right into a massive test. While he was by no means the worst player on the pitch, he is still very raw and inexperienced. The lack of cover at the back means that he will probably get plenty of game time, and Arsenal must hope that he grows into the role fast.
In an absolute emergency, Mathieu Flamini could also be pressed into service as a full back, however, this is far from his best position. Also, Arteta is struggling horribly in the holding midfield role and thus Wenger will probably choose to play Flamini there instead.
All in all, this loss of a quality defender is serious news for Arsenal, and Wenger needs to seriously look at signing a quality man during the January transfer window.