Arsenal hit with huge Saliba injury update as report names Chelsea man in three options to replace

Arsenal hit with huge Saliba injury update as report names Chelsea man in three options to replace

Arsenal have seen their Premier League title ambitions shaken by negative news from French sources regarding midfielder William Saliba’s back injury.

Mikel Arteta has been left to count the cost of his decision to name a strong squad for the Europa League shoot-out defeat to Sporting on Thursday, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Saliba both injured in the first half.

There was also an alleged setback regarding the return of Gabriel Jesus which turned out to be rather less harmful.

While Tomiyasu left the Emirates Stadium on crutches with an issue that Arteta suggested was “pretty serious due to his reaction immediately afterwards and what he said to me”, mystery surrounded Saliba’s back problem.

“I don’t know, he was having some discomfort and couldn’t continue, so we had to take him out,” said the Arsenal manager of that injury.

Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Watches His Side Play

But the French newspaper L’Equipe reveals it that Saliba “should be absent for several weeks” and will inevitably have to withdraw from the French selection during the break for the national teams.

Their report named Monaco defender Axel Disasi, Jean-Clair Todibo of Nice and Benoît Badiashile of Chelsea as options to replace him in Didier Deschamps’ squad.

The news will come as a blow to Arsenal, who have to surf without Crystal Palace manager at home before the international break, after which they hope that the prospects are a little brighter.

The Gunners could call on Rob Holding to replace Gabriel Magalhaes, with Jakub Kiwior, Benjamin White and Kieran Tierney among other candidates in the position.

Saliba missed just 14 minutes of his remarkable Premier League campaign after being substituted early in a 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest in October.

“We’ve been carrying injuries all season,” Artetta said this week. “We had Emile [Smith Rowe] out for four months [Gabriel] Jesus for four months, Thomas [Partey] for a month and a half, Alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko] for two and a half months, Eddie [Nketiah] for a month and a half.

“We already had many injuries, but we dealt with them.”

Those comments came after Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag suggested rather otherwise.

“When you see the whole season we’ve had setbacks, every time we’ve gone through it. It’s about the players that are available and every time there is a team on the field that takes care of it.

“In just one match we had the squad totally available and I was able to choose my team, from a tactical approach, perfectly – this was against Manchester City at home this season. Each time he has been a player suspended, injured or unavailable due to illness.

“We have to deal with him well but Arsenal, all the time, their team is totally available.”


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