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Arsenal: More Injury Woes as Thomas Vermaelen Is Sidelined for 3 Weeks

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20:  Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on August 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
H AndelAnalyst IIIDecember 31, 2011

Arsenal injury woes have gone from bad to worse as one of their defensive stalwarts, Thomas Vermaelen, is set to be sidelined for two-to-three weeks with a calf strain. Vermaelen limped off the Arsenal vs. QPR match in the 54th minute.

With this injury, Vermaelen becomes the fifth Arsenal defender to be sidelined this season, a list that includes Andre Santos (ankle), Bacary Sagna (broken leg), Carl Jenkinson (stress fracture) and Kieran Gibbs (groin).

Although a few of the injured players are set to return soon, Arsenal lack immediate cover in the fullback positions, a situation Wenger acknowledges as a possible danger to the team's fight for a top-four finish this season. Speaking to the BBC, he said:

We lost Vermaelen for two or three weeks, so I have to look if I can find somebody [but] only a loan. It would be stupid for us to drop points because we don't have a left-back. It [Vermaelen's injury] is serious enough for him not to play on Monday against Fulham or against Leeds [on 9 January]. We now have three left-backs out. Francis Coquelin came on in this position and did quite well, but he is a central midfielder.

Arsenal have played without fullbacks in the last month, calling upon central defenders such as Vermaelen, Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny to cover these positions. To sustain Arsenal's momentum in the new year, Wenger would need to find immediate solution for the defensive problem.

According to the Daily Mail, "Wenger will consider this week whether to make a move for Wayne Bridge as a loan cover" for the injured Vermaelen.   

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