The Mirror are reporting that Thomas Vermaelen will miss Arsenal’s tour of the far-east having returned from his summer holidays with a back problem.
The issue could see the captain crocked for the start of the season, and with only two recognised senior centre-halves fit, that would represent something of a problem for Arsene Wenger.
Having ‘lost’ Sebastien Squillaci and let Johan Djourou go on loan to Hamburg for the season, the only other option is young Spaniard Ignasi Miquel. Bacary Sagna was pressed into action as an emergency centre-half last season, but it’s unlikely that the manager would count on him in that position – not to mention there are still some doubts over his future.
It’s also a blow for the Belgian who vowed to win back his place in the side after being dropped for the run-in last season.
It remains to be seen if Wenger will strengthen his squad at the back. All the focus this summer has been on midfield and forward positions, but Vermaelen’s injury, if serious enough, may force him to act.