By Richard Clarke
Arsenal have suffered “heavy losses” during the international break.
William Gallas (hamstring), Bacary Sagna (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) will all miss Saturday’s Premier League game against Everton plus Tuesday’s trip to Fenerbache after picking up injuries with their countries.
When he spoke to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday lunchtime, Arsène Wenger was also unsure over the fitness of another three players who collected knocks on international duty. Cesc Fabregas (broken nose), Robin van Persie (muscular) and Johan Djourou (concussion) will undergo tests but the manager suggested they would be available.
On the upside, Abou Diaby is set to be named in the Arsenal squad at the weekend for the first time this season after recovering from a thigh problem.
However that was merely a silver lining to the news that has clouded the Club’s return to action this weekend.
“These are heavy losses and we have to compensate them.
“Fortunately the three of them don’t look to be out for a long, long time but they will be out for the weekend game and I think the game on Tuesday.
“As well as them, Djourou got concussion during his game with Swizterland and will be assessed tomorrow to see if he is available. He does not look too bad and he could have a good chance to play.
“I am still waiting for Robin to come back [after international duty] so I don’t know about him. However he should be OK. He went with a muscle problem but he came on after 56 minutes last night and, from the reports I got, he should be alright. Both of them will be assessed.
“Also I am told Cesc has a broken nose. It should not stop him playing. He is here now [at the training ground] and is being assessed.
“At least Abou Diaby is back in the squad again,” the manager added. “Even though he has not played games he will be used, at the least in the squad, because we have lost those three players.”
Arsenal TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full video interview on Friday morning. In it, Wenger talks about: England’s fine week, the problems of France, Robert Pires’ call that Wenger should take over, Aaron Ramsey’s display for Wales Under-21, Everton’s stuttering form, the longevity of David Moyes, the ‘new start’ after the international break, the points Arsenal have missed this season and claims of ‘inexperience in the squad’.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Oct 2008