Arsenal have confirmed that defender Rafaelle will be on the sidelines for “several weeks” after fracturing her metatarsal in the 1-0 Champions League qualifier victory over Ajax on Wednesday night.

The Brazilian will not join up with her country for friendlies against Italy and Norway next week. The player was forced off in the closing stages of the North London derby with a whack on the foot.

In a very physical game in Amsterdam, Rafaelle again felt a heavy challenge and tried to play on before hobbling off eight minutes before half-time.

An Arsenal statement read, “We can confirm that Rafaelle Souza has sustained a fracture to a metatarsal bone in her foot. Rafaelle will not travel to join up with the Brazilian national team as she begins the rehabilitation process here at Arsenal.

“We expect Rafaelle to be on the sidelines for several weeks while she recovers.”

It is another frustration for the January signing, who missed the final ten games of last season with a thigh injury. Lotte Wubben-Moy will step into the centre-half berth alongside Leah Williamson in her absence.

Wubben-Moy was recently omitted from the England squad owing to a lack of playing time but will now get her chance. Meanwhile, Beth Mead is ok after going off following a nasty clash of heads on Wednesday.

Mead travelled home with the team and should be ok to join up with England on Sunday ahead of their big-ticket friendly with USA at a sold-out Wembley on Friday evening.