Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker looks to be out for five months with injury

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The German international picked up a knee injury during the Gunners' friendly against Lens last week and was omitted from the squad for the pre-season tour to the United States.

Sky Sports, though, reports that he could be out for up to five months and "Arsenal are yet to confirm the news but we understand an announcement will be made in the next 48 hours".

Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, who recently joined from Bolton, are the only fit centre-backs on tour as Gabriel is out with tonsillitis while Laurent Koscielny has been given an extended break.

The 31-year-old Mertesacker was amongst the favourites to be named the Gunners new club captain for the coming season following Mikel Arteta's departure to Manchester City.