Gabriel out for 6-8 weeks

Gabriel out for 6-8 weeks

Gabriel

Arsenal defender Gabriel will be sidelined for up to two months with an ankle injury.

The Brazilian was stretchered off in the final minute of Sunday’s 3-2 pre-season win over Manchester City.with ankle ligament damage following a challenge with City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, leaving manager Arsene Wenger with just one fit senior centre-half, Calum Chambers, for the Premier League opener against Liverpool at the Emirates on Saturday.

Gabriel will definitely miss the Gunners’ matches against Liverpool, Leicester and Watford in August, and could be sidelined for up to eight Premier League games with the injury.

“It’s an ankle sprain – he’s in pain. Let’s hope the pain isn’t a sign of bad news,” the Frenchman told a news conference on Sunday.

German defender Per Mertesacker is out for several months with a knee injury, while Laurent Koscielny is not match fit after an extended break following France’s Euro 2016 campaign, so Wenger is likely to step up pursuit of Valencia and Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Arsenal signed 20-year-old centre-back Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers over the summer, while Poland Under-18 international Krystian Bielik impressed in the role during the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the United States.

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