• Premier League

Wenger sweats on Van Persie fitness

ESPNsoccernet staff
August 7, 2011
Robin van Persie suffered an ankle injury during Arsenal's defeat to Benfica © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger is sweating on the fitness of Arsenal trio Robin van Persie, Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen.

Van Persie sustained a painful-looking injury during Saturday night's 2-1 friendly match loss against Benfica, and received lengthy treatment following the knock. He did not enter the fray for the second half.

Wenger has revealed left-back Gibbs and centre-back Vermaelen have also picked up issues ahead of the club's Premier League opener against Newcastle next weekend. The Gunners then face Udinese in the Champions League before tackling Liverpool.

First asked about Van Persie, Wenger said: "It is an ankle problem, I don't know how bad it is. Gibbs has a muscular [thigh] problem and Vermaelen has a slight back problem."

Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere has been selected in Fabio Capello's England squad for Wednesday's friendly with the Netherlands, despite the youngster suffering an ankle injury at the Emirates Cup.

Wenger said: "They can include him as much as they want, he will not play [because of injury]."

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