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Arsenal: Forward target injury; Vermaelen not an option; youngster stars for Germany

Arsenal

Arsenal: Forward target injury; Vermaelen not an option; youngster stars for Germany

Arsenal have had at least one eye fixed on Alexandre Lacazette all summer, but an injury sustained by the Lyon forward may force them into a re-think.

The 25-year-old limped off with a hip injury during Lyon’s 4-1 defeat to PSG; whether this is a serious injury or a ‘diplomatic’ one remains to be seen.

Lyon manager, Bruno Gresio seemed to think it was quite serious. He said: “It’s worrying. It’s a big downside of the evening in addition to the defeat.

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“This is our attack leader, he is needed. It’s too early to tell about the injury. There will be examinations early this week.”

Lacazette might not have been Arsene Wenger’s first choice at the start of the summer, but the number of strikers on the market is an ever diminishing total.

With Danny Welbeck out until at least the New Year and Olivier Giroud a late returnee after the Euros, Arsenal are short of numbers up front.

Arsenal have scored 17 goals in pre-season however, with Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi all showing good signs in the forward positions.

Wenger’s priority might now be bringing in a centre back, following the loss of Gabriel to an ankle injury in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester City yesterday.

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One player who won’t be drafted in to fill the breach is former captain Thomas Vermaelen, who will join up with former teammate Wojech Szczesny at Roma on loan.

Injuries and a lack of first team opportunities meant Vermaelen had a lean time of it at Barcelona, and there were rumours that Wenger was prepared to offer him the chance of an Emirates return.

Perhaps this was all tittle-tattle from Vermaelen’s agent to try and drum up some interest in his client, but it is another option that is off the table.

Arsenal fans will not be too devastated however; the Belgian defender had fallen well down the pecking order at Arsenal, despite an impressive first seasons at the club.

Serge Gnabry is something of a forgotten man at Arsenal after a wretched time with injuries (like a few of his teammates) but was scored twice for Germany at the Olympics yesterday.

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German manager Horst Hrubesch though, aimed a barbed comment at Arsenal after Germany’s 3-3 draw with South Korea.

He said: “He did really well twice, but that doesn’t come as a surprise to me.

“Over the last two years he wasn’t always fully fit. What annoys me is that people at his club have never given him enough trust during that time.”

His comments may also have been a criticism of Tony Pulis and West Brom, where Gnabry was sent on loan but hardly played.

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