Arsenal have been dealt a double blow to their already depleted defence ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League visit to Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners are already without summer signing Mathieu Debuchy, who suffered a major ankle injury during the 2-2 draw with Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday and they could now be without three full-backs for the trip to Germany, after manager Arsene Wenger confirmed Nacho Monreal will miss the clash and Calum Chambers is only 50-50.
Monreal failed to travel because of a back problem while Chambers has succumbed to tonsillitis and will be assessed again on Tuesday morning ahead of Wednesday’s match.
Former Southampton man Chambers had been earmarked to replace Debuchy but should he fail to recover, 19-year-old Spaniard Hector Bellerin will add to his solitary senior appearance for the Gunners.
Wenger is confident Bellerin can plug the gap against the former finalists, while Kieran Gibbs is set to start at left-back in place of Monreal.
“In defence we are….the Debuchy injury has put us in a position where we don’t want more injuries,” said the Frenchman.
“We have Bellerin who I think is now ready to play. He’s a boy with personality who isn’t fazed by the pressure.
“That’s a very important quality when you’re a young boy playing at a big club. His transition game is fantastic. He’s very quick and his final ball is good as well.
“He lacks a bit of experience as a defender, but he’s very dangerous going forward.”
Wenger’s refusal to add to his defence during the summer – he signed Chambers but sold Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona – may now come back to haunt him with Debuchy facing an extended spell in the treatment room.
The Frenchman was stretchered off with ligament damage at the Emirates Stadium and reports state he could be missing for up to three months.
“Debuchy is out for a longer period. We don’t know how long yet. We hoped to have good news after his scan today [Monday],” Wenger added.
“We have Chambers who can play in different positions and Monreal can play in different positions.”