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Arsenal's Per Mertesacker out 'a few months', Arsene Wenger says

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker is left dejected
Image: Arsenal's Per Mertesacker will be out for "a few months"

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will be out for "a few months" with a knee injury, Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

The centre-back was injured during Friday night's friendly against Lens and was left out of Arsenal's pre-season tour of the United States amid reports he could miss five months.

And Wenger confirmed the extent of the injury in his first US press conference as the Gunners arrived for their two-match schedule.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13:  Per Mertesacker of Arsenal in action during The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates
Image: Mertesacker is a candidate to take over the Arsenal captaincy

Mertesacker, who was Arsenal's vice-captain last season, was favourite to be named new club captain at the Emirates following Mikel Arteta's departure to Manchester City in the summer.

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Arsene Wenger's side have problems at centre-back with Gabriel Paulista struggling with tonsillitis and Laurent Koscielny allowed an extended break after reaching the final of Euro 2016 with France.

Arsenal's Calum Chambers celebrates scoring the opening goal during the match against Burnley in the FA Cup fourth round match
Image: Calum Chambers will be Arsenal's most senior central defender on their pre-season tour in America

That leaves Calum Chambers as Arsenal's only fit senior central defender but new signing Rob Holding could partner his England U21 colleague in the US. 

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Arsenal play an MLS All-Star team on Friday and finish their tour against Chivas on Monday.

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