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


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.

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower