We all have hear the old saying that when it rains, it pours. Right now at Arsenal, it seems that the defenders cannot find a way out of the storm, as awful injury luck continues to rain down on the Gunners.
While Friday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup was a blow to the Gunner’s hopes of winning some silverware this season, the biggest blow came to Arsenal’s already-paper-thin defensive depth. During the first half, Sokratis came off after his ankle was clattered into during a challenge. Then, in the second half, Laurent Koscielny’s jaw bore the brunt of Lukaku’s boot, leaving the Arsenal captain bleeding from the face, causing Unai Emery and the Arsenal medical staff to be concerned that the Frenchman may have suffered a broken jaw.
After being assessed over the weekend, the news from Arsenal today was bad, but thankfully not as damning as it could have been. While Koscielny was determined to have only suffered bruising and soft tissue swelling, Sokratis’ diagnosis was not as fortunate - the Greek defender will be out for at least a month with an ankle injury.
Following Hector Bellerin’s ACL tear against Chelsea, I wrote about how crucial it will be for Arsenal’s defense to remain healthy if they want to find their way back to Champions League football. Because the football Gods are vengeful, spiteful ones, the Gunners will now be without the services of their most reliable center back for the season in Sokratis, while Koscielny is day-to-day.
Although it is disingenuous to attribute such outcomes to something as amorphous and nebulous as luck, it has genuinely felt like Arsenal has had some truly bad luck with their injuries compared to recent years. Sokratis now becomes the seventh Arsenal defender to face a long-term injury this season, currently joining Bellerin and Rob Holding on the training table.
As it stands, Arsenal’s only healthy center backs are Shkodran Mustafi and Dinos Mavropanos, who has not seen a minute of first team football yet this season, while there have been no indications that Arsenal are any closer to securing defensive reinforcements during the January transfer window.
Not great, Bob.