Wenger slams Reading defender for ‘stupid’ actions

Arsene Wenger has criticised Reading defender Danzell Gravenberch for a challenge on Gunners striker Lucas Perez on Tuesday evening, which has left the Spaniard on the sidelines.

The French boss confirmed Perez will be sidelined for the next six to eight weeks and was highly critical of the Championship defender, whom he believes should have seen red for the challenge that has left Arsenal’s number nine out of action.

“We lost Perez for a while, ankle injury.” He said. “He will be six-eight weeks out. He’s absolutely gutted because it’s an injury coming from nowhere and a stupid one. It was a kick, a deliberate kick. It was not needed.”

Perez, who is yet to establish himself in Arsenal’s first-team this season following his arrival from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer, will miss crucial fixtures against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton – a game he would have likely started.

Fortunately for the Londoners, Perez’s absence comes at the same time that Olivier Giroud has returned from his injury problem and the Frenchman will be pushing Alexis Sanchez for his leading striking role in the coming weeks, with rotation likely to occur to keep the squad fresh.