Having just signed a new contract ahead of what was expected to be a highly eventful campaign, Zak Ansah’s aspirations for the season were dealt a considerable blow today after the striker suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
It is not the first time that Ansah has suffered this injury, as he missed the first half of last season following a challenge against Liverpool Reserves, but this setback will be a considerable source of pain for the youngster as he was expected to head out on loan for the first time during 2013/14.
The 19 year old, who recently pledged his international future to Ghana having previously represented England, made the bench for Arsenal’s Champions League group stage fixture away to Olympiacos last season, but has fallen behind the precocious Chuba Akpom in the club’s pecking order.
Ansah is expected to miss at least six months of the season, and will certainly play no further part in the club’s pre-season programme, meaning that some members of the U18 squad, such as Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, could be drafted into the U21 selection that will commence their preparations for the new campaign with a trip to face Sutton United on Friday.
The identities of the U21 players who will be travelling on the first-team’s pre-season tour of Asia will also be revealed shortly. Damian Martinez and Ignasi Miquel appear certain inclusions, whilst technically-talented midfielders Kristoffer Olsson and Gedion Zelalem also have a good chance of making the trip.