Arsenal gunned down with injuries

Arsenal’s defensive woes deepened Monday with the news that Thomas Vermaelen will undergo minor surgery on an Achilles tendon.

Vermaelen, 25, will undergo a procedure in Sweden on Tuesday which makes him a doubt for both legs of the Gunners’ Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona on February 16 and March 8.

The Belgium international last played for the Gunners at Blackburn in August and the injury, sustained on international duty, had originally been expected to keep him out for a week.

“I have already tried to come back three times, but the pain proved too much on each occasion.”

“Recent tests showed a minor problem next to the Achilles tendon has been causing the pain. That’s why I’ll undergo surgery.”

With Frenchman Sebastien Squillaci also out with hamstring trouble Arsene Wenger’s defence is looking stretched after four defenders – William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Philippe Senderos and Sol Campell – were all allowed to move on in the close season.

While Laurent Koscielny was brought in there are only seven defenders in the first team squad and Arsenal are hoping to sign a reinforcement with Gary Cahill, Christopher Samba and Matthew Upson touted as suitable recruits.

by Buford Balony

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