Returning Mathieu Debuchy to fill at centre back but Aaron Ramsey’s out for Arsenal

Manager Arsene Wenger says no to January transfer window spending

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey celebrates his second goal against Galatasaray during their Champions League Group D match. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey celebrates his second goal against Galatasaray during their Champions League Group D match. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

 

Arsenal will be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey due to a hamstring problem for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League game against Newcastle.

The Welsh midfielder had only recently rediscovered his goalscoring touch, two in the last three game including a seismic left footed strike in the mid-week Champions League romp of Galatasary.

Defenders Laurent Koscielny who is struggling with a calf problem, Nacho Monreal with an ankle concern and the suspended Calum Chambers are all not available, so right-back Mathieu Debuchy could be asked to move over to centre-half.

Debuchy is himself only freshly returned to the squad after his own injury problems of late, and much like Monreal who has had to fit into the centre of the defence in recent weeks, the French international would not be noted for his physical stature nor for his prowess in reading the game or leading the line.

Otherwise Arsenal report no fresh injury problems from the midweek Champions Legaue win over Galatasaray in Istanbul.

Captain Mikel Arteta (calf), Theo Walcott (groin), Mesut Ozil (knee), goalkeeper David Ospina (thigh), Abou Diaby (calf) and Jack Wilshere all continue their rehabilitation.

Manager’s update

Manager Arsene Wenger says it is too early to suggest how long Arsenal will be without midfielder Ramsey after confirming on Friday morning the 23-year-old was set for a spell on the sidelines. He said: “We got the scan last night, I don’t know enough to give the extent of his injury.

“He was getting close to it (the form of last season),” said Wenger of the midfielder whose goal in extra-time helped beat Hull to win the 2014 FA Cup final at Wembley.

“It is a great goal and unexpected as well, a surprising one. Even he was surprised that it went so well.

“Aaron has a good finishing technique and he’s not frightened to take his chances — and he took it very well.”

Despite the seemingly obvious shortage of quality amongst the club’s defenders, Wenger feels if all of his rearguard are fully fit come January, then he will not need to dip into the transfer market for reinforcements in that area of the squad. He said:

“If everybody is fit and available, we don’t need to go on the transfer market, but we have to consider that there could be a question mark with Koscielny’s fitness and we have to go out on the transfer market.”

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