Mertesacker faces lengthy spell on Arsenal sidelines

Mark Scott
Per Mertesacker: Out of contract next summer

Arsenal are facing an injury crisis ahead of the new season with Per Mertesacker missing from their US tour and possibly out for five months.

The Gunners confirmed the German has sustained a knee problem, but while they gave no return date, Spanish journalist Kike Marin believes the injury is a serious one and could be ruled out until the start of 2017.

The injury leaves Arsenal with only two recognised centre-backs – Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding – on their pre-season tour, with Laurent Koscielny still recovering from France’s exploits at Euro 2016 and Gabriel suffering from tonsilitis.

Mertesacker recently admitted his concern at Arsenal’s lack of transfer activity this summer, but the Gunners have been linked with a new striker in the form of Toulouse’s Wassim Ben Yedder.