Wilshere faces weeks on sidelines as Arsenal also finally lose Nasri

Key midfielder's ankle injury adds to Gunners gloom ahead of tonight's crucial qualifier while City get their man

Udine

Arsene Wenger revealed yesterday that Jack Wilshere has been diagnosed with a long-term ankle problem that will rule him out of action until well into next month, on the day that Samir Nasri's transfer to Manchester City finally went through.

The Arsenal manager, whose team face Udinese in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier in Italy tonight, said that the 19-year-old had broken down in training on Monday with a recurrent problem that the club fear could develop into a stress fracture if he continues playing. It means that Wilshere will not play tonight or against Manchester United on Sunday and will not feature for England in their two Euro 2012 qualifiers next month.

There was some good news for Wenger yesterday: the Arsenal manager will be permitted to coach his side from the dugout tonight, with Uefa suspending his further two-match touchline ban while Arsenal's appeal is heard. However, the club were also told by the Football Association that, along with Newcastle United, they would be fined £30,000 for failing to control their players in their game 12 days ago.

Wenger said Wilshere first felt the problem with his ankle during the Euro 2012 qualifier for England against Switzerland in June. Wenger said: "Jack was always out long-term because he was out three weeks. He had a setback. It's a hot spot on the bone of his ankle that if you continue to play can lead to a stress fracture. So we had to stop him.

"During the holidays it was all right and then his pain increased when we were on tour in Asia. We had two good test days on Friday and Saturday. Monday morning, we had a test with the squad and he felt it again. There is no chance he will be fit for England. He's in a [protective] boot now. It's not ideal for us on the day we sell Nasri.

"Maybe it is a consequence of last season, he was in the red like I told you [when Arsenal convinced Wilshere to withdraw from the Under-21s European Championship] and, in fairness, what nobody wanted to hear. We knew he was in the red [physically] in the last two months and we continued to play him because we had no choice. But maybe it is a consequence of the overuse last year."

Although Nasri trained with his Arsenal team-mates in the morning, Wenger told him after the session that the club had reached agreement with City. Nasri travelled to Manchester for a medical. Nicklas Bendtner also missed the trip with an ankle injury and Henri Lansbury was left out of the squad. Wenger's squad to face United looks even more depleted, when the suspensions for Alex Song and Gervinho are taken into consideration, as well as injuries to Wilshere, Laurent Koscielny, Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs.

Having said earlier in the summer that if Arsenal were to sell both Fabregas and Nasri they could not consider themselves a big club, Wenger re-positioned himself yesterday to say that the two players' situations were very different – and that he had had no choice but to allow them both to leave.

Wenger said: "We did not want to lose Fabregas, but we were forced into a situation we didn't want. Nasri was a situation where the player didn't want to extend his contract with the proposals he had somewhere else. What kind of commitment can you have when the player is not there long-term? That is the question you have to answer.

"I don't question Samir Nasri's commitment or professionalism because he was in training [yesterday]. If I told him, 'You come with us and play', he would have played like he did on Saturday, but you wonder what kind of a commitment you can have. Football rules are made like that. A certain player can be worth a lot of money today and nothing in six months so it doesn't look completely logical, but we were forced into a decision like that for psychological and financial reasons."

Wenger played down the pressure around the tie, which Arsenal lead 1-0 from the first leg. "It's not critical," Wenger said, "it's for us an opportunity to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, so it's a good opportunity."

Having negotiated deals of around £60m for Cesc Fabregas and Nasri this summer, Wenger will have a week to try to strengthen his squad. The targets such as Yann M'Vila, Eden Hazard and Marvin Martin are all expected to reserve judgement until tonight's result. Phil Jagielka, as the Everton manager, David Moyes, said last week, has not pushed for a move.

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Extras
indybest

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition