Arsenal have were dealt a second successive injury blow with the news promising midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong will be out for the best part of the season after tearing knee ligaments.
The 18-year-old - born in Ghana, but who moved to London when he was nine - suffered the injury while training with the reserves in Dublin where the squad are taking part in a friendly tournament which also includes Shamrock Rovers and Manchester United's second string.
The news was confirmed just a day after Arsenal announced winger Samir Nasri would be sidelined for a month following minor surgery on his injured knee.
Frimpong, who helped Arsenal Under-18s win the Premier Academy League title last season, had started alongside fellow teenager Jack Wilshere in central midfield for each of Arsenal's final three pre-season friendlies, against AC Milan, Celtic and Legia Warsaw.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had been set to give the youngster more chances to impress, and admitted it was a big disappointment.
Speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger said: "We have had another blow with Emmanuel Frimpong.
"He has done his cruciate in training. That is a massive blow.
"A cartilage is three to four weeks, but a cruciate like that one Frimpong did yesterday is six to nine months.
"I rate him highly and I still have a lot of faith in him, but we will miss him for six to nine months."
Wenger had praised the 18-year-old after his impressive performances at the Emirates Cup.
"Frimpong has done really well," said Wenger at the time.
"He is a bit less of a dribbler, but he is a fighter and he is a winner.
"Here you have a boy who can choose between England and Ghana, so if I was in your place I would have no hesitation and invite him very quickly to play for England.
"I think he will have a big future."Reuse content