Arsene Wenger’s transfer plans may have taken a blow today when Laurent Koscielny limped out of training during their pre-season tour of Asia, while Wojciech Szczesny was ruled out of Monday night’s friendly in Nagoya.
The centre-back pulled out towards the end of the session with what appeared to be an right ankle injury, with a member of the medical team immediately examining Koscielny before he went inside the Mizuno Rugby Stadium for further treatment.
Arsenal are yet to confirm the extent of the injury, but he is unlikely to be risked in tomorrow’s friendly against Nagoya Grampus.
Staff will monitor the problem over the course of the next 24 hours, but they are confident that Koscielny will not be ruled out in the long-term.
Szczesny meanwhile has a lower back injury, and he is almost certain to miss tomorrow’s match with either Lukasz Fabianski or Damian Martinez set to deputise in goal.
The addition of Koscielny’s injury means Wenger is down to just two fit centre-backs on the current tour, with German Per Mertesacker now likely to be partnered at the back by young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel.
Wenger is already without club captain Thomas Vermaelen, who is out for around three months with a lower back injury that makes him a severe doubt for the start of the season.
Having released Sebastien Squillaci after his contract expired, and allowed Johan Djourou to go on-loan with Hamburg, Arsenal are desperately short at the back ahead of the new season. Brazilian Andre Santos left the club yesterday as he joined Flamengo to increase the shortage, though Bacary Sagna has been deployed at centre-back in recent times.
It may mean that Wenger switch his attention and step-up his interest in Swansea defender Ashley Williams, with the majority of the Gunners transfer news so far this summer involving the addition of a new striker.