Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are in search of an experienced defender to cover for Per Mertesacker, who has been ruled out for up to five months due to a knee injury.
Mertesacker was injured in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Lens in a pre-season friendly and since undergone a knee operation in his native Germany and it is believed he will be out for up to five months at the very least.
Reacting to the development, Wenger said: “I know you will ask me for how long he will be out. I don’t know that, it’s [some] months, but I don’t know [exactly] how long he will be out for,” Wenger said in a press conference leading up to their friendly game against an MLS All-Stars side.
Mertesacker’s injury means Arsenal are seriously short of options at the back at the moment, as Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista is out through illness, while Laurent Koscielny is still on holiday after helping France reach the final of Euro 2016.
Young defender Calum Chambers is however an option, but it doesn’t take away the need for an experienced defender for the Gunners going into the new season.
“We have to look for an option to get a bit more experience. We will see some of our young centre backs on Thursday as well,” he was quoted on the Mirror.
“With Per being out, we are a bit short on the experience front and we are looking to bring somebody in.”