Arsenal's defensive injury crisis has deepened ahead of their FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday (27 May) after it was revealed that Kieran Gibbs is struggling with a thigh injury that forced him to miss the final game of the season against Everton.
Arsenal are facing a major injury crisis at the back with Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista ruled out through suspension and injury respectively, while Shkodran Mustafi remains a doubt after failing to recover from an illness that saw him miss the final game of the Premier League season.
Gibbs has been deployed as a wing-back in recent games after losing his place at left-back to Nacho Monreal since the start of the season, and was poised to play as part of the midfield four at Wembley on Saturday. But according to the Telegraph, the defender has been struggling with a thigh injury and had not trained with the squad until Wednesday (24 May) when he was put through some tests.
Arsene Wenger has just two fit centre-backs at the moment in Rob Holding, who has been playing regularly since the manager switched to three at the back and Per Mertesacker, who made his first appearance of the season in the final game against the Toffees on Sunday (21 May).
Holding and Monreal are certain to start at the back against Chelsea, but the manager is yet to decide on his formation. And if he goes with three at the back, a formation that helped them win eight of their last nine games, the French coach will have to turn to his captain, who has not played the full 90 minutes in a game for over a year. The uncertainty surrounding Gibbs will further add to the dilemma about his options at left wing-back, but Arsenal are hopeful the England international will recover sufficiently by Saturday.