Arsenal injury news updates have not been too bad this season for Mikel Arteta, but just when he needs all of his stars fit they have been hit hard.
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Following their 3-0 win at Sheffield United on Sunday, Arteta gave an injury news update ahead of their massive UEFA Europa League quarterfinal second leg on Thursday at Slavia Prague, as winning that competition is their only realistic route to the Champions League next season.
This injury update didn’t exactly provide good news, as multiple reports suggest that both Kieran Tierney and David Luiz will miss the rest of the season.
“Yes [I feel unlucky]. I don’t know the extent [of Bukayo Saka’s injury]. I think for certain David will be out. Kieran will be out and then with Martin [Odegaard], we don’t know yet,” Arteta said. “Bukayo, we’ll see how he develops in the next few days… He had to come off. He had discomfort in his thigh and it’s the last thing that we need because we’re missing some big players at the moment and we don’t want to lose another one. Hopefully, it’s not that serious.”
Arteta added that he is unsure on whether Emile Smith Rowe and Odegaard will be available to play at Slavia, while Gabriel Martinelli took a whack but should be okay. Arteta also revealed that captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the win at Sheffield United as he was feeling unwell but he is hopeful he can play on Thursday.
“I hope so,” Arteta said when asked if Aubameyang would be available. “He was unwell yesterday, he could not train, he could not be available today but hopefully in the next day or two he will be feeling better and he will be available to get picked.”
Arsenal injury crisis
To recap, here is a list of players Arsenal could be missing for the biggest game of the season, and perhaps the biggest game of Arteta’s young managerial career so far.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Bukayo Saka
- Martin Odegaard
- Kieran Tierney (out)
- David Luiz (out)
It is possible that Granit Xhaka could play left back, or maybe Cedric could with Hector Bellerin at right back, while Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah will all be pushing for starts given the injury issues in midfield and attack.
This is far from ideal for Arteta but his squad is big enough and has enough quality to get past Slavia Prague, even though it is 1-1 heading into the second leg in the Czeech Republic and Slavia have that all important away goal which they scored seconds from the end of the first leg.
Arteta knows Arsenal must win the Europa League for this season to be deemed a success, and if they get past Slavia they will likely play Villarreal in the semifinals and it looks like Manchester United in the final.
It will be tough, but it just got tougher with so many injury concerns and absentees.