Shattering Arsenal blow as key man ruled out for four weeks

By Editor Wayne Veysey

Hector Bellerin will be sidelined for a month in a shattering blow to Arsenal, it was confirmed on Thursday morning.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger revealed that the right-back will be absent with an injury sustained in the team’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium before the international break.

“Hector is out for about four weeks,” Wenger said, as quoted by the official Arsenal website. “He was injured in the last 10 seconds against Spurs.”

The loss of Bellerin will be a big blow to Arsenal, who travel to Manchester United on Saturday for a mouthwatering showdown.

The Spain international is also in line to miss seven other fixtures, including Premier League matches against Bournemouth, West Ham, Stoke and Everton, Champions League clashes against Paris Saint-Germain and Basel as well as a League Cup encounter against Southampton.

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Bellerin has been one of Arsenal’s outstanding players this season after being named the right-back in the Premier League team of the year for 2015-16.

He has started all 11 of the club’s Premier League matches, as well as three of their four Champions League fixtures.

Arsenal head to Old Trafford on Saturday fourth in the Premier League with 24 points from 11 matches. They are just two points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Football Insider verdict:

Bellerin will be sorely missed by Arsenal over the next month. He has been outstanding for Wenger’s side this season and has made huge strides since breaking into the side two years ago and usurping Mathieu Debuchy as the first-choice right-back. The Spaniard’s likely replacement Carl Jenkinson is a fine player but has only just returned from a serious knee injury and does not possess Bellerin’s electric speed, immense technical ability and capacity to create and prevent goals. The absence of Bellerin could also have a knock-on effect with Theo Walcott higher up the field and defences will be relieved not to face the combined threat of the two speed merchants over the next month.

In other Arsenal team news, Olivier Giroud is to hold crunch talks with Arsene Wenger over his future at the club after losing his first-team place.