The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern are expecting a dominant win for their side against BATE on Thursday evening. The Gunners have been enjoying a stellar run of form in recent weeks, and with progression in Europe already sealed, the clash will be little more than an exhibition for Arsene Wenger’s men.
However, ahead of the game the French manager has revealed some bad news for the Gunners. According to injury expert Ben Dinnery on Twitter, Wenger has revealed that Shkodran Mustafi is set to miss the game through injury. Though described as only a ‘small’ issue, Wenger has admitted that there is a concern that his layoff could extend beyond Arsenal’s clash with Southampton this weekend.
Wenger admits Mustafi has a "small problem," and if the defender misses out at Southampton on Sunday, then he should be back to face West Ham three days later. "Everybody is available." #AFC
*Except long-term absentee Santi Cazorla https://t.co/4KiAUTZjCa
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 6, 2017
This is a significant blow for the Gunners given that Mustafi has been a crucial member of the first team this season. A regular starter under Arsene Wenger, Mustafi may well have been given the night off against BATE on Thursday, but the Frenchman would have loved to have his German defender fit and available against the Saints this weekend. That’s not out of the question, but the uncertainty is a worry.
Of course, there will still be a hope amongst Arsenal circles that he can quickly regain fitness as Alexandre Lacazette did last week, given how good he has been over the last few weeks. If not, Wenger will have quite the selection dilemma both against BATE and Southampton as he looks to keep his squad fresh.
Shkodran Mustafi has often been a frustrating player to watch at Arsenal, but he remains very important to Arsene Wenger’s plans.
Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the problem is too bad, and so worst case, the defender should be ready within the next week. That will be important for Arsenal, and that’s the only silver lining from this news.
Arsenal fans – thoughts?
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