Arsenal star Jack Wilshere faces a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
The England international has established himself as the key player in the Gunners line-up, to such an extent many pundits believe that, even at the age of just 21, he will be handed the captain’s armband next season. However, an ankle injury sustained in the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur will hinder his progress this term, much to the angst of Arsene Wenger.
Whilst nobody expects the French coach to mastermind a memorable victory against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League second round second leg clash on Wednesday, the absence of the midfielder has made a hugely difficult job even more so. The German side lead 3-1 from the first leg, meaning they entertain the English side with three away goals in the bag.
So it looks certain that the only way Wenger will maintain his fine record of competing in the premier club competition in Europe next season will be by finishing in the top four of the Premier League this term, and this is also looking like a mighty task. With just 10 matches of the campaign remaining, Arsenal trail Chelsea by five points for the final qualification spot.
For once, the international break will come as a relief to Wenger, as Wilshere will be able to continue his recuperation whilst his England pals take on San Marino and Montenegro in a World Cup double-header. This means, if things go according to plan, he could miss just one league match, albeit the tricky trip to Swansea City on 16 March, but he could be back in contention when relegation-threatened Reading visit the Emirates Stadium at the end of the month.
“Wilshere has an inflamed ankle, the other ankle,” said Wenger, making reference to a previous ankle injury which sidelined Wilshere for the best part of 14 months. “Hopefully for the Premier League, he will only miss one game because of the international break.”