Club managers spend every international break in a state of anxiety about possible injuries, and things are not looking great for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal at present. Following the news that Alexis Sanchez is struggling with a calf problem, news broke yesterday that Hector Bellerin could miss the rest of the month with an ankle problem. The 21-year-old has withdrawn from Spain’s under 21 squad and is now a doubt for the trip to Old Trafford straight after the international break on November 19th. The Spaniard has penned a new six-year deal in recent days that has pushed him among the highest earners at the club; a wage that reflects his status.
Alongside Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny, Bellerin is one of the first names on Wenger’s team sheet. The former Barcelona man was left out of Arsenal’s Champions League squad against Ludogorets after a ‘little incident’ in training, and it isn’t the biggest leap to conclude that this might have been an ankle problem. Wenger now faces a decision as to who steps into the void at right back. He could move Shkodran Mustafi across; the former Valencia defender has played at full back for Germany. However, this would involve breaking up a central defensive partnership that has been solid. Carl Jenkinson is has not been part of the fold for a long time, but is a natural full back. If Theo Walcott plays on the right, Arsenal might not need an overlapping right back on this side.
Elsewhere, Lucas Perez has given a positive update on his ankle injury. The former Deportivo La Coruna striker has been sidelined since taking a kick on his achilles against Reading in the fourth round of the EFL Cup. With Sanchez and Danny Welbeck likely to be on the treatment table for the next few weeks, Perez would have had a real opportunity to get more minutes and establish himself in an Arsenal shirt. He has returned home to Spain to continue his rehab, and posted a video of himself going through his paces online. Perez is due to back in December, and will get plenty of opportunities as the fixtures stack up.
Finally, in the latest round of transfer tittle-tattle, Manchester United are reportedly lining up a move for Mesut Ozil should his contract talks with Arsenal break down. The World Cup winner thrived under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, and the former Chelsea manager described Ozil as the best No 10 in the world. Ozil current deal expires in 2018, but Arsenal remain very confident he will sign fresh deal. He has expressed his love of London life and appears very settled at the Emirates; he was given plenty of stick from sections of the media in his first season in England and it seems he appreciates the loyalty Arsenal fans showed him in this period. In the midst of negotiations, it is a simple tactic for a player’s representative to plant a story like this to force Arsenal’s hand a little in a bid to get his player the best deal.
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