Speaking to the press after the win against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, Wenger admitted that recent injury blows have come as a shock.
Wenger was under the impression forward Danny Welbeck would be available soon until, two weeks ago, it emerged that he required surgery on a knee injury which has kept him out since April. The former Manchester United man will now be out in Christmas and Arsenal weren’t left with enough time to sign a replacement before the transfer window shut.
Then, at the end of last week, Wenger confirmed that Jack Wilshere had suffered a setback. The midfielder was due in training soon but another Arsenal injury is a blow so early in the season.
“It was a shock of course,” Wenger said of the Welbeck news. “I think Welbeck can play in every position up front and he is a fantastic guy.
“To see him work for three or four months and then be ruled out again for three or four months is difficult to understand but we have to deal with that. I can understand that people say that we have to look out for a striker but we honestly did not find anyone.”
The manager will at least feel buoyed by the fact that both Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored against Stoke. Without Welbeck both players will be heavily relied on, and anything that gives them a boost will be good for the Gunners.
In midfield Arsenal have more cover of undoubted class, but the Wilshere injury is still a concerning one. The club are without another player but the biggest blow is to Wilshere himself. Arsenal had started slowly and he would have found himself with chances to play early on in the season but now that seems unlikely.
“Wilshere progresses slowly,” Wenger told the media. “We will know more about Jack in the next few days and hopefully it will be good news but he progresses.”
Another setback really leaves you wondering what Wilshere’s Arsenal career has in store. The midfielder is constantly injured and, in his favourite position, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t even get into the side.
It’s a long way back for Wilshere, even when he does return to fitness.