Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out for another month after undergoing a second surgical procedure on his groin. The England left-back had been tipped for a return this weekend, but suffered a setback prior to Wednesday’s win over Aston Villa.
Speaking to assembled press this morning at the Emirates, Wenger revealed: “It was a blow but first what is important is that if he cannot play you have to make the decision that we had to make and arrange surgery for him. Hopefully it will only be one month because Santos will not come back before March.”
Johan Djourou, also suffering with a groin strain picked up at Manchester City, apparently has a small chance to play against Wolves on December 27th while Bacary Sagna is doing well in his recovery and should return next month.
“You could see that he’s a bit ahead of schedule,” Wenger said of Sagna. “We have to [be careful] but physically he will be ready very quickly because he worked very hard in the gym. We think the end of January is a reasonable target for him.”
Despite the positive vibes coming from the treatment room the boss still maintains that he will make a full-back loan signing in the New Year should a suitable opportunity arise.
“I have to see what is available,” he confirmed.
Thankfully for Arsenal fans the chances of finding an Arsenal shirt with Wayne Bridge on the back on Christmas day look unlikely – Arsene taking the time to stress that he had not enquired about Manchester City’s part-time footballer / full-time golfer.
“If I have a good opportunity then why not? But I haven’t made any enquiry yet, so for the moment no Wayne Bridge or anyone else.
“It is of course something we look at but as well it depends on how long you have to take them.
“They have a big impact on your wages as well. If you have to sign a player for three or four years and then you have three or four left backs, only one can play, so they are not happy.
“It can only be a short-term solution for us because we have bought Santos, we have Gibbs, we have Vermaelen who can play there, so we do not need a long-term solution.”
Asked whether he might also be tempted to sign a new centre-back in January, the boss categorically dismissed the suggestion.