Arsenal tactician Arsene Wenger has ruled Francis Coquelin out of the Gunners’ League Cup encounter against London rivals Tottenham, and the French boss does not know for how long the midfielder will be out, as reported by Arseblog.
Coquelin suffered an injury to his knee during Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday after falling awkwardly while contesting for an aerial duel. As a result, the Frenchman was withdrawn at half-time.
His presence was felt by Arsene Wenger’s side in the game as the Blues got their two goals in the second half in the absence of the influential defensive midfielder. The former Monaco gaffer has now confirmed that the injury will keep Coquelin out of the club’s first North London derby of the season.
“It’s a little knee injury,” said Wenger.
“I don’t know how long it will be – certainly not for midweek. I don’t know yet how long.”
This latest development has come as a latest blow for the Gunners who will also be without defender Gabriel Paulista and attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla for the cup tie against Spurs. Coquelin was one of Arsenal’s best player last season as the Gunners won the FA cup. Wenger rested the defensive midfield man against Dinamo Zagrebu during the midweek Champions League encounter and his absence was felt, with his replacement Mikel Arteta struggling to make an impact in the game.
Meanwhile, captain Santi Cazorla who has not featured for Arsenal since the win against Crystal Palace next month is likely to return and, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could come in to replace Cazorla.