Arsenal defender Monreal to miss Premier League opening

Arsenal will begin the new Premier League season without the services of left-back Nacho Monreal, ESPN has reported, after the Spain international was ruled out with a back injury.

Monreal has damaged a disc in his back and there is no word as yet on how long the former Malaga player will be sidelined. Monreal only joined the Gunners from the Spanish club in the January transfer window, making 10 appearances.

The injury means Arsene Wenger can call on only one senior left-back for the early rounds of the new campaign – Kieran Gibbs – with Thomas Vermaelen, a centre-back capable of shifting to a wider berth, also missing through injury.

Monreal has had an injection and it looks like he will miss the start of the season and of course we have lost one left back and that’s a position where we are a bit exposed,” Wenger said. “Vermaelen can play there, he is injured. Monreal can play there, he is injured. At the moment we only have Kieran Gibbs who can play at left back,” the manager added.

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