Arsenal fear midfielder Francis Coquelin will be sidelined until December after being forced off with a knee injury during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Chelsea, according to the Evening Standard.
The report claims initial tests have suggested he will be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, possibly until December, although he is set for further scans to assess the severity of the problem.
Pictures have also been circulating on social media of the midfielder reportedly at Highgate hospital wearing a leg brace.
— Luke Goldsmith (@lukegoldsmith89) September 26, 2016
Coquelin picked up the injury in a tackle with N’Golo Kante and although he initially tried to continue, he eventually limped off after just 32 minutes, with Granit Xhaka replacing him in midfield.
Manager Arsene Wenger admitted after the game he was concerned Coquelin had suffered another serious injury.
“Coquelin has a knee injury in the same place he suffered one against West Brom last year,” he said.
“We don’t know if the damage is as big. We have to wait for 48 hours, but he left the stadium in a brace, so that’s the one negative. I am a bit worried for that.”
Coquelin has been a virtual ever-present for the Gunners so far this season and if he is indeed sidelined for a sustained period of time, the news will come as a big blow.
However, one positive that could emerge from Coquelin’s potential absence is that it will surely allow Xhaka a run in the team. The midfielder has only started three games for the Gunners this season but two stunning goals mean he has already been a huge hit with fans. The Swiss looks certain to start against FC Basel in the Champions League, the club where he began his career and his older brother Taulant current plays.