The 20-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did not feature in the second half of Arsenal’s shock 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa with a knee problem. After having left the Emirates on crutches, the worst was feared for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is tipped to have a bright year for both club and country. Unfortunately for the Gunners, the initial prognosis does not make for good reading.
In what comes as a major blow to Arsenal, the England international has damaged his knee ligaments and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. According to ESPN, Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be out of action for up to six months with the knee problem.
The pacy winger was a constant threat to Aston Villa in the first-half and it was he who provided the cross for Giroud to lash in the first goal of the match. His presence was sorely missed in the second 45 minutes by the Gunners, as they eventually crashed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a young Villa side.
Arsenal face a crucial Champions League play-off first leg qualifier away at Fenebahce on Wednesday night and Wenger has confirmed he will not be able to call upon the services of Oxlade-Chamberlain.
He said, “He is definitely out. A knee problem. We don’t know how deep the problem is, but it’s a bad injury.”
Arsenal are without a host of first-teamers as they face an injury crisis ahead of the trip to Turkey. With Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal already ruled out, Wenger indicated that another five players could miss the all-important clash after the Villa defeat.
He said, “Gibbs has a deep cut. Sagna and Rosicky have problems. Wilshere – I don’t know how he will respond after the full 90 minutes. Ramsey has a problem after a kick at his ankle.”
With injuries at the Emirates piling up, Wenger has all the more reason now to finally dip into the transfer market and spend money in order to recruit top talent before the transfer window closes.