By Dominic Toner
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that defender Gabriel will be out for six to eight weeks.
Gabriel, 25, was stretchered off with an ankle injury late on in Arsenal’s 3-2 pre-season friendly win over Manchester City last Sunday.
Wenger has told the club’s official website that the centre-back will be absent for as long as two months with an ankle injury.
“Gabriel has an ankle problem, and will be out for six to eight weeks,” Wenger said. “It is a bit better than we feared at the start.”
The Brazilian’s team-mate Calum Chambers posted his support on Twitter following the injury and he could be in line to replace him against Liverpool.
The Gunners’begin their Premier League season against Liverpool and Sunday and are facing a defensive crisis.
German defender Per Mertesacker has picked up a long-term injury to join Gabriel on the sidelines, which could leave youngsters Chambers and Rob Holding in line to start.
Wenger has revealed that Frenchman Laurent Koscielny is not expected to be fit to feature against Liverpool following his involvement at Euro 2016 with the runners up.
BBC reporter David Ornstein has claimed on Twitter that Arsenal will step up their pursuit of Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi who could fill the space left by the injured Gabriel.
Gabriel made 37 appearances for Arsenal since he joined in 2015 and will be hoping to return to the starting 11 when he has recovered from injury.
In other Arsenal team news, Wenger believes that his midfielder can have a great season if he stays fit.