Arsene Wenger’s pre-Anderlecht nightmares have come to pass with news that David Ospina has been ruled out of the Champions League trip to Beligum on Wednesday evening.
The Colombian International had suffered a recurrence of the thigh concerns that has plagued him since after the World Cup, in which condition he signed for Arsenal early in August. Ospina was supposed to join up with Jose Pekerman’s squad for their International friendly in the USA against El Salvador and Canada but had to be recalled due to complaints in his thigh. He’s subsequently failed the tests run, definitely ruling him out of all engagements on Match Day 3.
This will come as a crushing blow to Wenger as he continues to ponder chronic injury malaise his club has undergone over the years, but especially this season. No less than 15 first team players have had to be ruled out of entire games due to one concern or the other. While there may exist some joy about the imminent return of one, another goes almost immediately to replace him in the treatment room.
It now means that 22-year old third choice goalkeeper, Emi Martinez would now be the one to hold the fort between the sticks against Anderlecht as Ospina had been poised to play there due to Szczezny’s sending-off at the Emirates against Galatasaray. Ospina did replace Woj in that game and played with the confidence of one who knew he would definitely be involved in few weeks time but as fate would have it, he would only have to watch from the bench.
Still on the injury front, youngster Isaac Hayden will also not be able to feature on Wednesday after he suffered an injury during training before the Hull game, meaning we go with Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs and Bellerin. Wenger will be happy to welcome Calum Chambers back into the squad after he served his one match suspension in the League last weekend. The 19-year old defender is set to be thrown straight back into action, as a more natural center-back partner for Per Mertesacker.
Amidst all the woe, there still remains some good news, especially in midfield. Ramsey made his return from over a month’s absence since last appearing in the North London derby at home. He is set to be involved from the start on Wednesday, as well as captain Mikel Arteta. Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry and Aou Diaby played some part with the U-21s on Friday and may make the bench.
Wenger will have much to reorganize in his defence as he heads to Belgium with something of an ailing squad. The ability to scrape a draw against Hull at the weekend will give the team a little dose of confidence about our abilities going forward but enormous work has to be done in defence. With the continuous rotation of personnel in defence, it seems expected that these issues may not be resoved so easily.
Now we have to give a rookie his debut away in the Champions League, again. Oh Boy…
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.