According to reports from The Daily Mail yesterday evening, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will miss Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich next week.
Both were injured during Arsenal’s shock 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening. Chamberlain came off with a hamstring injury in the opening minutes and his replacement Theo Walcott was also forced to retire minutes later with a calf problem.
Walcott, who has bagged two goals and two assists in six Premier League starts this season, is expected to be out for the next fortnight, which rules him out of the Gunners’ Premier League clash with Swansea City on Saturday, the north London derby the following weekend and perhaps most crucially Arsenal’s visit to Bayern Munich in the Champions League next Wednesday. He’ll also be a doubt for England ahead of friendlies against Spain and France in November.
Chamberlain’s hamstring issue could see him sidelined for much longer, however, and with Aaron Ramsey also set to be out of action until late November due to a hamstring injury of his own, Arsene Wenger faces a bit of a selection crisis at right midfield.
Danny Welbeck is also injured whilst youngster Serge Gnabry is currently on loan at West Brom, leaving Joel Campbell, who has struggled to impress in his 20 appearances to date for Arsenal, as the only other wide attacking threat in the Emirates squad. Moving Mesut Ozil out wide or pushing Kieran Gibbs or Hector Bellerin into midfield remain alternative options Wenger could explore.
Striker is another problem area. The only available cover for Olivier Giroud is now Campbell, once again, and 19 year-old Alex Iwobi, who made his competitive debut during the 3-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Moving top scorer Alexis Sanchez up front is another option, but one that causes more problems in midfield.
After the midweek defeat, the Frenchman admitted he’d brought too many senior players to Hillsbrough. As quoted by BBC Sport, he said; “We are short now with the injuries. I have to manage the workload of the players and at the end of the day I still think I maybe brought too many experienced players here. With the squad we have got now, we cannot keep in all the competitions.”