Gabriel Paulista injury adds to Arsenal's woe ahead of season opener
GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Arsene Wenger says Gabriel Paulista is likely to miss the Premier League opener against Liverpool with an ankle sprain, leaving him "very short" on centre-backs for the start of the season.
Gabriel was injured in the final minutes of Arsenal's 3-2 win over Manchester City in their final preseason friendly in Sweden on Sunday, and was clutching his face in pain as he was carried off on a stretcher.
The injury adds to Arsenal's defensive worries as Per Mertesacker is out with a long-term knee injury and Laurent Koscielny will only return to training on Monday and will not be ready for the Liverpool game next Sunday.
"We are very short," Wenger said after the game. "Let's hope we have good news from Gabriel. But we may be short for next week. Of course, if Gabriel is out, and Mertesacker is out and Koscielny not ready, it makes many players."
Wenger said Gabriel's injury was still being assessed and that the Brazilian would undergo a scan in London on Monday.
"He's in pain. Let's hope that the pain is not a sign of bad news. But certainly it's an ankle sprain. The only thing we have to know now is how big the damage is with his ligament," Wenger said.
It leaves Arsenal with Calum Chambers as their only senior centre-back, with newly signed 20-year-old Rob Holding or 18-year-old Krystian Bielik as Wenger's other options. He could also decide to move Nacho Monreal into the middle and play Kieran Gibbs on the left.
Wenger remains on the market for an experienced centre-back, but will be hard pressed to complete a deal in the next few days.
"I've said many times we are on the market. but of course it's not an easy market for us. Let's see, let's hope we have good news from Gabriel," he said.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.