As if Saturday wasn’t bad enough for Arsenal, midfielder Francis Coquelin was forced off with a knee injury in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Twenty minutes into the game, Coquelin received treatment on his right knee after retaining possession in the middle of the pitch. Either he landed badly or twisted the knee as he looked to play the ball, but something was clearly up.
After treatment the midfielder hobbled off the pitch and returned until the end of the half, when he was subbed for Calum Chambers.
Chambers had to come on to replace the red carded Gabriel but, particularly when a man down, Arsène Wenger wouldn’t have withdrawn Coquelin had he not been injured.
“It is a little knee injury,” Wenger said after the game. “I don’t know how long it will be … certainly not for midweek … I don’t know yet how long.”
Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup in midweek, but will be without the French midfielder. After the club didn’t land a deep-playing midfielder in the summer, everyone will hope the injury isn’t too serious.
Mikel Arteta may be ready for more regular football now but clearly can’t play two or three times a week, and Mathieu Flamini is the other alternative.