“It is an ankle problem, I don’t know how bad it is.” – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
It was another chastening pre-season match for Arsenal at Benfica on Saturday night. Just a week after being booed off at the Emirates, the Gunners once again let a lead slip and appear to have picked up fresh injuries in Portugal.
With just a week to go before Arsenal travel to Newcastle for their Premier League opener, and with injury problems surrounding Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott as well as the long running transfer sagas involving Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsene Wenger will have been hoping for a clean bill of health on return from Portugal.
It was not to be however, as Kieran Gibbs picked up a thigh injury, Thomas Vermaelen “a slight back problem” and talisman Robin van Persie an ankle injury.
The Dutch striker was clattered on the ankle by Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay and according to reports squared up to the Argentinian defender after picking up the injury. Coming in from behind, Garay clearly cracks in on RVP’s right ankle and the Gunners striker was furious in the minutes leading up to the break.
Van Persie was withdrawn at half-time, as were many of Arsenal’s first-teamers, but Wenger and Gooners will no doubt no be fretting that their talisman, with his long record of previous lay-offs, could miss a massive upcoming month. It of course also comes after Van Persie had given Arsenal the lead in their final pre-season game and following his sensational form at the back end of 2010/2011.
Related links: All videos and highlights from Benfica 2 – Arsenal 1.