Santos blow may force Wenger into some January shopping

 

Andre Santos, the Arsenal left-back, has been ruled out for up to three months after the club confirmed the Brazilian international requires surgery on ankle ligaments damaged in last week's 3-1 Champions League defeat to Olympiakos. His absence leaves Arsène Wenger facing five Premier League fixtures in the next three weeks without any fit senior full-backs.

The 28-year-old was forced off just after half-time in Piraeus last week and an Arsenal statement yesterday confirmed that Santos, signed from Fenerbahce for £6m this summer, will undergo surgery on his right ankle in his homeland this week. He is not expected to return to action before March.

Santos's understudy, Kieran Gibbs, is still some weeks away from fitness after a hernia operation last month, the latest in a long line of setbacks for the 22-year-old England international, who has endured a torrid campaign. He is not expected to return in time for any of Arsenal's Christmas fixtures, with Wenger's side due to face Manchester City on Sunday, followed by games with Aston Villa, Wolves and Queen's Park Rangers. Gibbs may be fit for the visit to Fulham on 2 January.

Thomas Vermaelen, the centre-half, is likely to be asked to continue in the role until Gibbs's return, but such is the Englishman's injury record, Wenger may well have to rethink his original plan not to bolster his full-back resources in January. The Frenchman has intimated that he does not intend to buy defenders in the winter transfer window but, with his problems almost as endemic on the right as on the left, he is expected to reconsider.

Wenger has had to deploy Johan Djourou, also a centre-half, on the right with Bacary Sagna sidelined until well into the new year with a broken leg and Carl Jenkinson, the 19-year-old signed from Charlton at the start of this season for just £1m, out after the club discovered a stress fracture in his back.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal manager has moved to quell speculation linking him with a January move for Lyons' attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

"He is a good player and you are hard with him in France, but we are hoping that Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby will soon return to fitness," Wenger said yesterday.

Suggested Topics
News
Alex Salmond said he accepted 'the democratic verdict of the people'
newsSNP leader says Scotland must move forward as 'one nation'
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week