Arsene Wenger has admitted that Per Mertesacker may have to face a length spell on the sidelines and is expected to be out for at least a month, however there is more positive news for starlet Jack Wilshere who could be back sooner than expected after positive scan results.
The Frenchman revealed the latest team news ahead of their Wednesday evening blockbuster tie with AC Milan in the Champions League:
[On Mertesacker] He had reconstruction of his ankle in Germany before he joined us and the scan did not look too positive yesterday. Last night he went back to Germany to speak to the specialist and see where we go from there.
[on Jack Wilshere] The recovery of his latest problem looks very, very good. His last scan was very positive so we go here cautiously, step by step, because we tried to push him back quicker and we had a setback. This time we have to be very cautious and not go too quick. He can be back before the end of the season, of course.
[on playing Kieran Gibbs] I believe physically and mentally he is ready. But if I start him, which is not decided yet, I do not want to put too much pressure on him because we want a good team performance. Gibbs is a good player.
I will find the most natural [solution], which means I will put Vermaelen back in the middle. Gibbs looks to be ready so I might look to start him but I have not decided completely yet.
Full 18 man squad to play against AC Milan:
Robin van Persie
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Not many surprises with the squad really, but I am surprised that Wenger hasn’t made up his mind over Gibbs yet. Surely he must start with no-one else able to provide cover except maybe Djourou as the Frenchman has admitted that Vermaelen will start in the heart of defence (thank goodness). Gibbs has played in far more intense situations before when he was much younger so surely mentally he will fine for this tie.
Another question mark remains over whether Wenger will opt for Ramsey or Rosicky in the attacking midfielder role. Ramsey hasn’t performed as well as he can recently with Rosicky covering admirably so it will be a tough decision for French manager. It is extremely positive to learn of Wilshere’s quick recovery too which will strengthen the midfield considerable upon his return, exciting times ahead for the Gunners with some massive matches approaching.
What do you think the result will be vs AC Milan? We are thinking perhaps a 1-1 draw that will provide a useful away goal advantage. Comment below..