Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed that he was far from impressed with the foul that has left Lucas Perez out of action for between six to eight weeks.
The Spaniard sustained an ankle injury following a foul from Danzell Gravenberch in the EFL Cup meeting with Reading in midweek, with Wenger confirming the timeline for his return after speculation suggested it would result in a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
With the possibility of now missing up to two months of action, it’s a huge setback for the summer signing who had been pushing to force his way into the starting line-up.
Wenger was evidently annoyed by the tackle, which he compared to Granit Xhaka’s foul on Modou Barrow of Swansea City earlier this month, which resulted in the Swiss midfielder being given a straight red card.
The 67-year-old was surprised that it didn’t result in a red for Gravenberch, but wasn’t too interested in that aspect as ultimately he’ll be equally as disappointed over Perez’s injury.
“Very frustrating – he worked every hard to get there. He’s absolutely gutted it’s an injury that came from nowhere. A stupid one – a deliberate kick,” he told the media in his press conference on Friday.
“It was similar to (Granit) Xhaka but no red card. Red card would not have helped Perez. It was not needed but i think it was more a frustrated reaction from the player – he had no chance to get the ball, but you have to deal with that. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you get a bad injury.”
The former Deportivo La Coruna forward will now miss several key games for the Gunners, including against Tottenham, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, with Wenger hoping that he has enough strength in depth in the squad to sustain his side’s positive start to the campaign.
Wenger says Perez "is absolutely gutted because it's an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one. Because it was a deliberate kick."
— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) October 28, 2016