There are various suggestions that Brazilian defender Gabriel will miss Sunday’s crucial clash against Leicester City after failing to train on Saturday.
Sent off against Chelsea, Per Mertesacker served his suspension against Burnley in the FA Cup and has only been on the bench for the two Premier League games since, with Arsène Wenger preferring Gabriel as a partner for Laurent Koscielny.
However, he may have no choice but to reinstate the experienced German on Sunday afternoon, with Gabriel allegedly struggling with a thigh injury.
Gabriel a big doubt for tomorrow (another thigh injury) #afc
— Pablo (@DeanLDN22) February 13, 2016
Many fans are concerned by Mertesacker’s lack of pace, which Jamie Vardy could look to exploit, though his positional sense does often make up for what he lacks physically. Nonetheless, Wenger clearly doesn’t feel the German is in good form and looked sure to start Gabriel ahead of the 31-year-old once again this weekend.
Training pictures released by the club on Saturday didn’t feature Gabriel and fuelled rumours that he’s struggling to be fit for the game against the Foxes, who are currently top of the Premier League table and five points clear of Arsenal.
This would have been a fourth consecutive start for Gabriel, something he’s managed just one other time since signing for Arsenal in January last year. That run in the side was ironically ended by a red card against Chelsea, and meant he missed the away game against Leicester in September, which Arsenal won 5-2.
Now, after being handed his chance to play consecutive matches thanks to someone else’s red against the Blues, he may have had the chance to play against Leicester taken away from him once again.