Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be keen for his medical staff to assess several of the Gunners’ stars ahead of their vital clash with Leeds on Saturday. The north London side hold an eight-point lead over second-placed Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title, having played one more game than Pep Guardiola’s outfit, and they will look to maintain their advantage this coming weekend.
Arteta has largely been able to name a settled team throughout the season and has not had to deal with the same amount of injuries as Arsenal’s rivals, but he will have been keeping a close eye on the fitness of his squad during the international break and some concerns will have cropped up.
The majority of Arsenal’s squad have been away with their countries, even prompting England boss Gareth Southgate to face complaints over his treatment of Bukayo Saka, though he appears to have come through unscathed after two starts against Italy and Ukraine.
Takehiro Tomiyasu was ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his knee, while Mohamed Elnenry remains a long-term absentee with another knee issue. Here, Express Sport looks at the Players Arteta will be most worried about upon the team’s return to London Colney this week.
Arsenal supporters will have feared the worst when their captain Martin Odegaard was on the receiving end of a crunching tackle by Manchester City’s Rodri, on international duty as Spain defeated Norway 3-0 on Saturday. Fans on social media lashed out at the offender even though no foul was awarded, something Odegaard was perplexed by.
Fortunately for Arteta, his skipper was able to get back up and play the entire 90 minutes, though he will hope that Odegaard can avoid injury in Tuesday’s trip to Georgia.
William Saliba was called up to Didier Deschamps’ France squad but was forced to withdraw following an injury he picked up in the Europa League tie with Sporting Lisbon. Arsenal are yet to confirm the severity of the back issue he suffered against the Portuguese side, prompting concern that he may join Tomiyasu on the treatment table.
However, back problems can be complex and the medical team may be gathering more information before releasing the information publicly. However, with Tomiyasu out, Rob Holding would likely come into the team if Saliba was unavailable and Arteta would prefer to use his settled back four as much as possible for the remaining 10 games of the season.