By Amir Mir

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will miss the club’s pre-season tour of America with a knee problem, which could leave Arsene Wenger’s side without their two senior centre-backs for the start of the Premier League season.

With Mertesacker picking up a knee problem, the north London team could be forced to field youngster Callum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista in their opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool on 14 August.

France international Laurent Koscielny is currently on an extended break after participating for his home country at Euro 2016.

It now means that Wenger could be without six senior players come the opening day game with Aaron Ramsey, Koscielny, Alexis Sanchez, Mezut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Mertesacker all potentially missing through injury or rest.

Arsenal informed fans of the Mertesacker news on their official Twitter account.

The club have not given any further details on the knee problem suffered from the defender.

The German international was injured at the back-end of last season, but did feature for the club in their first pre-season game against French side Lens on Friday.

Another option for Wenger would be to fast-track 20-year-old Rob Holding into the senior fold. Holding recently made a move from League One outfit Bolton on a long-term contract, but is believed to be a talent for the future.

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