Arsenal were given an injury scare as defender Gabriel was carried off on a stretcher in their 3-2 pre-season victory over Manchester City.
It is too early for the Gunners to know the full extent of the problem but it could cause manager Arsene Wenger problems in central defence just a week ahead of the club’s opening game of the new Premier League campaign.
Per Mertesacker is expected to be out until the new year after he sustained a knee injury, while Laurent Koscielny will probably not be ready for the visit of Liverpool having not yet resumed full training following his exertions at this summer’s European Championships with France.
Eight centre-backs Arsenal could sign
A former Everton player, Mustafi’s name has cropped up more than any other since Mertesacker sustained his injury. Valencia are reportedly willing to let him leave for just €25m, though considering that he has three years remaining on his contract at the Mestalla, we’ll believe that when we see it.
A target for Chelsea and Everton, the Napoli centre-back is among this summer’s most sought-after. After selling Gonzalo Higuain for a monumental sum, the Serie A side don’t need the money. Koulibaly, nevertheless, may want the move.
Luciano Spalletti, Manolas’ coach at Roma, has reiterated time and time again that the Greece international is not for sale, amid interest Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Arsenal would not only have to convince the Serie A side to sell, but also beat competition from their biggest Premier League rivals.
The Internazionale defender has been linked with a move to the Emirates by sections of the Italian press. Murillo has been at the Giuseppe Meazza just over a year, during which time he won the Best Young Player award at last year’s Copa America. Leicester have also considered a move for the 24-year-old.
Described as potentially ‘the future of defending itself’ on these pages, Tah combines his rather intimidating stature with technical ability. Bayer Leverkusen signed him for £7m last summer and are resigned to making a healthy profit sometime in the near future.
A veteran of the Arsenal gossip column inches, Reid claims that he has turned down advances from several top clubs in the past. The New Zealand international signed a six-and-a-half-year deal at Upton Park in 2015 and has only seen things improve at the club since. Could he be tempted this time around?
An international team-mate of Granit Xhaka, Schar impressed in his outings at this summer’s European Championships with Switzerland. He was linked with the Emirates last year too, only to end up joining Hoffenheim.
With Ivan Gazidis throwing buckets of cold water over fans’ expectations for this summer’s transfer window, what would be more ‘Arsenal’ than the underwhelming return of an ailing former player. Sol Campbell appears to have moved into politics, so how about Vermaelen? It would at least be another body in the squad, as long as he stays out of the treatment room.
“He’s in pain. Let’s hope that the pain is not a sign of bad news,” Wenger said of Gabriel’s injury on Arsenal’s official Twitter account.
Sergio Aguero put City ahead in Gothenburg but goals from Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom turned the game on its head.
Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the deficit before a lengthy stoppage after the injury to Gabriel, who had to be carried from the field following a clash with Raheem Sterling.