Arsene Wenger had a mixed bag of news for Gunners fans in his press conference today ahead of the Premier League match-up against Sunderland tomorrow.
Bad news first: the severity of Lucas Perez’s injury has been confirmed. Arsenal’s summer striker signing will be shelved for 6 to 8 weeks after a tackle in the Reading match which drew the ire of the manager. This injury is a blow to Arsenal’s newfound style this season which is reliant on having a mobile center forward and a wide forward that acts like a striker. Lucas was our first choice backup to Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott, respectively, in both of those positions.
In other, slightly-better-but-still-bad news, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, and Theo Walcott are all doubts for the weekend, with tests coming later today to determine their fitness. Cazorla is still dealing with the knock he picked up against Ludogorets last week but appears to be nearing availability. Monreal and Walcott are dealing with slight muscular issues and should be fine for Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Ludogorets.
In good news, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are fully back. The boss mentioned that Ramsey has not trained with the squad much since his return and will be treated carefully. Giroud is less restricted and may well see the starting XI if Theo Walcott is indeed out tomorrow.
While the loss of Lucas is a blow, the Gunners are buoyed by the return of first-team regulars. With these returns come more tactical versatility for the manager, as well as experienced players clamoring for more playing time. It will certainly be interesting to see how Wenger manages the glut of options that should, hopefully, shortly be available to him.