Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi is expected to be sidelined for some time after he was forced to limp out of Germany’s 5-1 World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan on Sunday.
The 24-year-old pulled up clutching his right thigh in the 36th minute of the match just before Azerbaijan scored their goal through Ramil Sheydaev and the coach, Joachim Löw, later confirmed he sustained a suspected muscle injury.
“With Mustafi it seems that it is some muscle tear or some muscle fibre tear,” Löw said. “In any case it could force him to a longer break.”
Any enforced absence would be a potential headache for Arsène Wenger before Saturday’s trip to Watford, with Laurent Koscielny having pulled out of France’s squad last week with an achilles injury and Calum Chambers yet to feature this season due to a hip problem.
Having already secured their place in Russia next year with victory over Northern Ireland, Leon Goretzka’s brilliant backheel sent Germany on their way to victory at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern on Sunday. Sandro Wagner also continued his fine form by scoring his fifth goal in five caps as Germany topped Group C.
Despite Seydaev’s equaliser, Azerbaijan fell apart after the break, conceding three times in 12 minutes from Wagner, Antonio Rüdiger and Goretzka, with Emre Can adding a stunning late fifth.
Germany finished 11 points clear of Northern Ireland, whom they beat 3-1 in Belfast on Thursday to reach Russia, with a 100% record.