With Arsenal facing two important games in the space of the next four days, with the second one being the potentially pivotal Champions League group match against the French champions PSG, Arsene Wenger will have been hoping to have as strong and as fit a squad of players to choose from after the international break.
Unfortunately the Frenchman has revealed on the Arsenal website that our Welsh international midfield star Aaron Ramsey, who did so well at the Euro 2016 tournament this summer, has not recovered in time from the hamstring injury he picked up in the disappointing defeat at home to Liverpool on the opening day. And not only will Rambo be out of action for the Premier League clash with Southampton, Wenger said that he will not be ready to play in Paris on Tuesday either.
Another doubt, although the boss did say he will have to wait to make a final decision on this matter, is Alexis Sanchez, as the Chilean did not get back to London until Thursday night after his international games in South America. The boss clearly has the European match in mind as well and I would not be surprised to see him keep Sanchez fresh for that one.
He can do that with a bit more confidence, however, thanks to the return to fitness of the exciting and talented young forward Alex Iwobi, who like Ramsey picked up his injury against Liverpool.
Wenger said, “I haven’t seen Alexis and David Ospina because they arrived late last night. Everyone looks alright.
“That’s a decision I have to make because we play on Tuesday night so I will see. I have to make that decision in the next 24 hours.
“Iwobi is back in the squad. The only one who is not ready is Aaron Ramsey. He is on the a good way, but not completely ready for Southampton or Tuesday.”
The loss of Ramsey is a blow but with Arsenal having good central midfield options in Coquelin, Cazorla, Elneny and Xhaka, will the Gunners be able to cope without him?