Arsene Wenger was speaking following our 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion this past Thursday night, and revealed the reason for Kieran Gibbs’ absence. The England international is apparently suffering from a back injury, although Wenger suggests the injury is short term.
Wenger on @KieranGibbs: “He has a back problem but it looks short term. He had a training session today.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 21, 2016
Nacho Monreal is obviously our undisputed first choice left-back at the moment, so Gibbs’ injury isn’t a huge blow. With three games in a week Wenger may have been looking to rest the Spaniard though, which seems impossible now.
With the 26-year-old back in training it’s possible he could be back in time for our game against Sunderland, but it seems unlikely that Wenger would rush him back and risk a setback of any kind.
In all honesty, Arsenal fans won’t have been too devastated by the news that Gibbs is injured. He hasn’t improved nearly as much as many would have hoped, and injuries and a lack of development have seen him stagnate.
The fact that he’s a homegrown player probably has a lot to do with his continued presence at the club, but it really wouldn’t be all that surprising to see him leave the club in the next transfer window or two.
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Monreal has been incredibly reliable this season so we haven’t had to rely on Gibbs too much, but we could still certainly improve on the injury prone star.