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Arsenal in defensive dire straits as Gabriel goes down

Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis after Gabriel Paulista was injured on the weekend.

The Brazilian centre-back injured ankle ligaments after being caught by Kelechi Iheanacho late in the Gunners' 3-2 win over Manchester City in Gothenburg on Sunday.

The North Londoners have already lost Per Mertesacker for up to five months while Laurent Koscielny is not at full fitness having had an extended break after Euro2016.

Arsene Wenger is not fully aware of the extent of Gabriel's injury but admits the 25-year-old will miss the start of the Premier League season, leaving inexperienced duo Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as Arsenal's only recognised central defenders.

"We have not even made a diagnosis in the medical room with our doctors or physios yet. I can't tell you more. He's in pain," said Wenger, according to arsenal.com.

"Let's hope the pain is not a sign of bad news. The only thing we have to know now is how big the damage is with his ligament.

"I've never seen an intelligent accident, they always look stupid. We have to take that.

"He played the ball 100 per cent and I think he rolled his ankle, but I don't know how it happened. It's part of our game.

"I don't think he'll have a scan tonight because we come back at midnight. I don't think so.

"Yes. We are very short [in defence]."

Arsenal will certainly be active in the transfer market in the coming weeks as they look to bring in a new defender as they prepare for next weekend's Premier League season opener against Liverpool.


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