Confirmed: Coquelin out for at least two months after suffering extensive knee ligament damage
Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin will be out for at least two months after suffering a knee injury in Saturday's Premier League defeat at West Brom, manager Arsene Wenger has announced.
The Gunners could crash out of the Champions League in Tuesday if they fail to beat Dinamo Kiev or results elsewhere in the group go against them, and they need to get back to winning ways in the Premier League next weekend when they take on Norwich if they are to keep pace with the Premier League leaders.
However, they will do so without the services of 24-year-old Coquelin, after he limped out of Saturday’s defeat early in the first-half. Coquelin has already had a scan on the injury, and manager Arsene Wenger will reveal how long the midfielder will be sidelined for when he addresses the media this afternoon.
To make matters worse, his replacement, Mikel Arteta, also picked up an injury during the match at the Hawthorns and was forced off just 35 minutes after entering the affray. In that time he managed to concede a free-kick that led to James Morrison’s equaliser, and netted the unfortunate own-goal that gave the Baggies their victory.
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It’s believed that Coquelin’s scans have revealed extensive ligament damage and he is expected to be ruled out for the remainder of 2015, joining Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky on the long-term casualties list.
Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott will not feature in Europe this week although the pair are nearing a return to action, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and could be out until Christmas.
Although Coquelin has established himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet since returning from a loan spell with Charlton in late 2014, Wenger was urged to sign another defensive midfielder to give Coquelin competition and cover should he suffer an injury.
Wenger resisted though, despite long-term target Morgan Scheniderlin joining Manchester United in a £25m deal and World Cup winner Sami Khedira leaving Real Madrid for Juventus on a free transfer.
Independent News Service