A massive blow has befallen Unai Emery’s Arsenal squad before the season even starts.
Left-back Sead Kolasinac suffered a knee injury in Arsenal’s International Champions Cup friendly against Chelsea on Wednesday night in Dublin, and has been ruled out for 8-10 weeks.
Kolasinac was removed from the game in the 70th minute, replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He was escorted off the field by the club trainer Chris Morgan, not seemingly in a ton of pain. Still, the team confirmed on Friday evening that Kolasinac would miss a significant amount of time.
The injury now puts Emery in a bind. Kolasinac was the only fit natural left-back on the roster, with incumbent Nacho Monreal only returning from his post-World Cup extended leave last week. Emery must now decide to risk Monreal, play 20-year-old Maitland-Niles until Monreal is fit, or utilize a back-three that leaves room for a more attacking wing-back.
Kolasinac moved to Arsenal last summer from Bundesliga club Schalke, and impressed mightily on the right, looking mostly composed (if a little clumsy) defensively and dangerous on the cross up front. However, the 25-year-old Bosnian international struggled with fitness his first full season with the Gunners, in and out of the lineup with ankle problems the second half of the campaign.
Thankfully for Emery, the news on Aaron Ramsey was better. The oft-injured midfielder was scratched from the game against Chelsea with a calf injury with warmup, but it sounds like the injury is not as serious as first feared. The club update says they are “still monitoring” Ramsey but that he aims to return to training next week. It’s unclear if that means he will miss the season-opening match against Manchester City next Sunday.