Arsenal have been dealt a significant blow after Arsene Wenger revealed that Lukas Podolski’s hamstring injury is much worse than first feared.
Podolski limped out of the Gunners’ 2-0 Champions League playoff win over Fenerbahce and was initially expected to return within three weeks. However, Wenger told Arsenal’s official website that layoff will be considerably longer.
It is bad news about Lukas Podolski as he will be out for eight to 10 weeks. His hamstring is much more damaged than we thought at the start.
It is very disappointing and we have paid a very heavy price for that win [over Fenerbahce]. We have to be patient now.
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The news leaves Wenger in even greater need of attacking reinforcements, having seemingly been frustrated in moves for Real Madrid pair Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria—both of whom have declared an intention to stay, as well as Juan Mata.
There is better news, however, for two other players who picked up knocks in that midweek fixture. Both Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey finished Tuesday’s game nursing injuries, and Wenger had admitted he was particularly concerned over the in-form Wales international, according to The Express' Matthew Dunn.
However, ahead of the weekend’s North London derby against Tottenham, the Arsenal boss confirmed both will be fit.
“The news is quite positive. They just had bumps and bruises. They will be involved,” Wenger said.
It also appears Arsenal are about to announce their second signing of the summer, with Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail reporting that a deal is done for Mathieu Flamini.
Mokbel claims the agreement will be over three years for £40,000-a-week. Flamini’s return comes five years after he left to join AC Milan.
Arsenal are yet to officially confirm the deal, but extra bodies are undoubtedly needed by the Gunners as injuries continue to harm the squad.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen all remain absent, a situation compounded by Podolski’s latest news.