Jack Wilshere will not feature for Arsenal when they travel to face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, after rolling his ankle during a training session and sitting out the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Liverpool.
Such news shouldn’t strike panic into either Arsene Wenger or Arsenal fans, though, as the team have shown on more than one occasion that they can cope without their diminutive midfielder.
The visitors are given a 4/1 chance of winning the game with the draw 3/1 and Dortmund the 31/50 favourites.
Arsenal haven’t lost any of their last nine games without Wilshere on the teamsheet.
Much is made, especially among the Emirates faithful, of how important Wilshere is to Arsenal, but in reality the stats show that those feelings couldn’t be further misplaced.
Constant injury problems have meant that the north London side have had to grow accustomed to their home-grown mercurial talent’s absence. It’s something that they have come to handle with aplomb as they are on a nine game unbeaten run without their number 10.
The last time Arsenal faced a tough Champions League away day in Germany, it was without Wilshere.
The start of that nine game run began in Europe’s premier competition, when Arsenal travelled to Munich to face the eventual winners for their last-16 second-leg clash.
That night, the Gunners ran out 2-0 winners in the match, with Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta making up four of the five midfield spots.
With those men likely to be at the front of the long midfield queue vying for selection in this match, the positive experience will be of great benefit.
Wilshere has made more starts on the wing than in his natural position this season.
The temptation with Wilshere is to find a spot in the starting line-up for him at every opportunity. But with Mesut Ozil swallowing the key to the role behind Olivier Giroud, Ramsey in the form of his young footballing life and a combination of Mathieu Flamini and Arteta performing solid screening duties, Wilshere has been shoehorned into the side out of position.
The ex-smoker has made six starts on the wings this season and just three in central midfield areas. His absence will allow more suited wide players like Cazorla and Rosicky to perform more effective duties.