Per Mertesacker has been captaining the side in the absence of Mikel Arteta, but the giant German looks set to miss our Premier League clash with Chelsea, according to The Telegraph.
The 30-year-old was withdrawn during our 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Reading, with a previously unidentified injury. He was later diagnosed with a minor ankle sprain, despite earlier fears that it may have been more serious.
Although the injury is certainly a minor one, it still looks as though the 6’6″ defender will be sidelined against Chelsea.
He will surely be replaced by January signing Gabriel Paulista, and while the Brazilian has looked decent during his sparse appearances so far, he definitely doesn’t have the aerial presence of his colleague, and does appears to have a mistake or two in his locker. On the plus side, Gabriel has excellent pace, and his recovery speed will be useful against the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian.
Still, many players find it hard to adapt to the Premier League, and we will certainly have to make allowances for the former La Liga defender.
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With very few starts to his name, being thrown in against Chelsea is not ideal. Hopefully he will rise to the occasion though, and help Arsene Wenger finally end his disastrous run against Jose Mourinho.