Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopolous reportedly suffered a sprained ankle during Greece’s 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat to Finland on Monday evening and is a doubt for the Gunners' clash with Leicester next week.
The 30-year-old international was one of Unai Emery’s first additions after arriving from Borussia Dortmund for a reported £17.7m in the summer and played every minute of Arsenal’s first five Premier League games this season.
However, he was substituted with a suspected sprained ankle at half-time against Finland and may face some time on the sidelines, according to Greek website Gazzetta. The Evening Standard understand the defender is a doubt for the clash with the Foxes on Monday.
Emery will be hoping the injury is not as serious as it may seem, considering the Gunners are already struggling with squad depth at centre back.
Laurent Koscielny has not yet returned from the Achilles tear he suffered in May, with Sokratis, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi shouldering the responsibility in central defence. Youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos has also been sidelined through injury.
It could mean the Gunners start a tough run of difficult fixtures with only two fit first team centre backs in Mustafi and Holding.
They host Leicester in the Premier League, travel to Sporting CP for a Europa League tie, journey across London to Crystal Palace before finally hosting Blackpool in the Carabao Cup.
Unfortunately, the tight fixture list doesn’t stop there, as they host Liverpool in the league and Sporting CP for their return fixture within the first eight days of November.
Emery will be stretched for options if Sokratis faces a spell on the sidelines and may have to count on Nacho Monreal to fill in if needed after he was used as a centre back towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club.