Having already lost Calum Chambers to a season-ending injury, the last thing Arsenal needed was for another central defender to pick up a serious injury.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what seems to have happened, with Shkodran Mustafi stretchered off during last night’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup.
The German landed awkwardly, and appeared to sustain some damage to his ankle which ended his night and raised further questions about Arsenal’s depth in that position.
Possible left Achilles rupture, lots of stress on the tendon landing like this. Hopefully not ? pic.twitter.com/qlLyHVsTOI
— RunningPhysio (@tomgoom) January 27, 2020
Afterwards, Mikel Arteta was unclear as to how bad the extent of the injury was but admitted it didn’t look good. However, he insisted that it would not change the club’s plans in the transfer market this week.
Yesterday reports regarding Spanish defender Pablo Mari were far from promising, with the 26 year old returning to Brazil after the Gunners and Flamengo failed to find agreement on a fee. There’s some suggestion negotiations took a step forward last night but it remains to be seen what will happen.
The injury to Mustafi would seem to add some urgency to matters, but when asked if it would impact spending before the transfer window closes on Friday, Arteta said, “No. We had a very clear intention of what we wanted to do in the market with the resources we have and if we can do it, fine.
“But his fitness won’t change anything. We are in the market, the club is trying to facilitate one or two bodies with the resources we have.”
If Mustafi is out for a prolonged period, it would leave Arteta with just three senior central defenders, and with two of them over 30 and with a lot of football to play, it’d be a massive risk on the club’s part not to strengthen in some capacity.
Let’s see what happens.