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Published: 08:00 | 26/7/16

Wenger confirms Mertesacker lay-off


Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed

Mertesacker suffered a knee injury during Arsenal's pre-season friendly against Lens and was subsequently ruled out of the club's pre-season tour of the United States.

It was reported on Tuesday that the club's vice-captain was facing up to five months out, but while he has confirmed the defender will be sidelines for some time, Wenger is not sure how long he will be absent.

"We have bad news on Per Mertesacker. He played in Lens on Friday night, he finished the game and had a little pain on his knee. We found out the next day that it was much more serious than expected. He had surgery yesterday in Germany. It all went well. 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 explained.

With Laurent Koscielny having an extended break after Euro 2016 and Gabriel suffering from tonsillitis, Calum Chambers is Arsenal's most experienced centre-back on the tour and Wenger has revealed the club will look to strengthen before the transfer deadline.

"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. With Per being out, we are a bit short on the experience front and we are looking to bring somebody in," he revealed.

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