Arsene Wenger - Challenge that injured Lucas Perez was 'stupid'

Lucas Perez and Danzell Gravenberch
Lucas Perez, left, is out with an ankle injury suffered in a challenge from Danzell Gravenberch (right)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Reading defender Danzell Gravenberch deliberately kicked Lucas Perez in a "stupid" tackle that has sidelined the Gunners striker for up to eight weeks,

Perez, who signed for £17.1m in August, was taken off with an ankle injury after 72 minutes of Arsenal's 2-0 EFL Cup win on Tuesday.

"It's an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one, because it was a deliberate kick," said Wenger ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland. "It's very frustrating."

Wenger compared Gravenberch's challenge to the foul on Modou Barrow that saw Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka sent off in his team's 3-2 win over Swansea on 15 October.

"It was not needed. I think it was a more frustrated reaction from the player," said Wenger.

"It's a similar tackle to Xhaka, but there was no red card."

Granit Xhaka
Since the start of last season, Granit Xhaka has been shown more red cards than any other player in the top five European leagues

Gravenberch - who was known by the nickname Gravenbeast during his time in the Netherlands' Eredivisie - received four yellow cards and a red in his first 10 league games for Romanian side Cluj in the 2014-15 season.

Perez, 28, has scored two goals in six games since arriving at the Emirates Stadium but as well as the trip to Sunderland is expected to miss Premier League matches against Tottenham and Manchester United, and the Champions League tie with Paris St-Germain.

Although Perez is expected to be out until December, Arsenal's forward line is set to be strengthened by the return of Olivier Giroud.

The France international came through his comeback as a substitute in the win over the Royals on Tuesday after a month out with a toe injury.

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