Report: Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker out for five months with knee injury

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal celebrates his team's 1-0 win in the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 2, 2015
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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is reportedly facing five months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker could reportedly be sidelined for the next five months with a knee injury.

The German defender suffered the blow during a pre-season friendly against Lens on Friday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Arsenal confirmed on Monday that Mertesacker would not be travelling to the United States for the latest leg of their pre-season schedule, but it seems as though the 31-year-old will not be available for the first half of the Premier League season.

According to Sky Sports News, the defender, who has been widely tipped to take the Arsenal captaincy following Mikel Arteta's exit, may not be fit to feature for the Gunners until December.

The North London outfit are currently thin at the back as Laurent Koscielny remains on holiday following his participation at Euro 2016, while Gabriel Paulista has tonsillitis.

New signing Rob Holding may come into the fold for pre-season matches in the US.

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Qualifier 2nd leg match between Arsenal and Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium on August 27, 2014
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