Arsenal are set to begin the new season with no fewer than six members of their first-team squad ruled out by injury after Johan Djourou, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby and Lukasz Fabianski were added to the Gunners’ casualty list.
Amid the gloom, the one piece of good news provided by Arsene Wenger on Thursday afternoon was that, contrary to expectation, Thomas Vermaelen has been passed fit for this weekend’s trip to Everton. The Belgian has missed the last three weeks of pre-season with a hamstring injury but completed forty-five minutes for his country in midweek and is set to line up alongside William Gallas at Goodison Park.
His rehabilitation is just as well given that Djourou, poised to start the season as Gallas’ partner, has been ruled out for a month with a knee complaint. In the absence of further signings following the sale of Kolo Toure, Djourou’s setback leaves just Mikael Silvestre as defensive cover during a period in which Arsenal also have to travel to Old Trafford, Celtic Park, and Eastlands.
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