Arsenal’s injury curse comes back with a vengeance

Arsenal have had a very busy transfer window to try and grow the squad so we can compete on all fronts this season, and it is obvious that Mikel Arteta has brought in lots of quality players, as can be seen by the fact that were are flying high at the top of the table with five wins from five games.

But the age-old Arsenal concern from fans has been that we are ALWAYS short of a defensive midfielder, and that has been discussed on here since the start of the transfer window.

We ended last season with Thomas Partey out injured as usual, Granit Xhaka always in danger of cautions, red cards and suspensions (although rarely injured) and Mo Elneny and Sambi Lokonga as unfashionable backups.

Now we are exactly one week away from having to start our Europa League campaign with just Xhaka and Lokonga available to play in midfield with two games every week.

But not only that we have also got scares on more players. Reiss Nelson was supposed to be a backup for Saka after Pepe left, but he is on a long term injury break with Partey and Elneny, and against Fulham we now have two new possible worrying injuries.

Arteta ran through the injury problems after the Fulham game, starting with our captain Martin Odegaard: “He got a bad kick, and he was struggling. It was very recent so we’ll have to see over the next few hours how he recovers.”

And now another worry is Aaron Ramsdale as well. Arteta said: “I think he felt something, I don’t know what exactly. He managed to finish the game but he’s another we’ll have to assess.”

On Elneny: “That’s not good news, we still need him to see our specialist but I’m afraid we’re going to lose Mo for a while.”

And he confirmed the bad news on Partey as well: “He’s going to be out for a while but we don’t know how long that period is going to be. Obviously, it’s not the first injury that he’s had in that area so it is a recurring injury, so it’s one for the doctors to put a timeline on it and see how he goes.”

It may not be too bad for the Europa League, as I can see Arteta playing youngsters like Walters and Azeez in the Group games, but we must really hope that we get another midfielder for our League games, as we need a minimum of three available so we have backup. Hopefully Zinchenko (also been out with a knee injury) will rejoin the squad before the Man United game, and there is nothing too serious with Ramsdale and Odegaard…


The Just Arsenal Show discusses the potential of Mykhaylo Mudryk. This young Ukranian would be a great signing…

Please enjoy, share, and subscribe to Just Arsenal Vids

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags arsenal injuries


  1. A big miss not getting a new cm in, we all know the problem with partey and his injury record, he should be moved on in Jan.

    Big miss, huge

    1. I knew they will not bring anybody in,they will wait till the last minute and get busy doing nothing serious,if they couldn’t get Douglas what stopped them from going for Teliesman who is ready to come?I just pray we don’t face our usual problem because we don’t have enough cover and competition in some areas,why allow pepe and Niles leave?

    2. We messed up in a big way this transfer window. We failed to address two of our big needs. Yes, Jesus and Zinchenko are solid signings but the fact we have not yet played Vieira makes me wonder why we prioritized him over a backup of equal quality for Partey and some support for Saka. We should have brought in a DM and wide player over Vieira.

      We will play the legs off of Saka and he will end up like Wilshire if we don’t rest him enough at his young age. He will become injury prone and burned out.

      Yes, we spend a lot of money but IMO it was not well spent.

  2. Both our DMs out for a long period of time. One has still hardly kicked a ball for us and cannot string together more than 3 matches. Very disappointing this was not foreseen and addressed. Partey cannot be relied upon. I’ll be foolishly optimistic and hope Arsenal are ready on Jan 1st to get a DM, but expect another deadline day rush as per usual. There are certain transfer tactics that have never worked out for us that we still keep repeating. Still, lots of good work done this window on incomings and outgoings, just frustrating we didn’t clear the final hurdle and we’ll now all be sweating until Jan that we can find a solution in a position that has given us huge problems over the years.

  3. Knowing all this Arteta has allowed AMN and Azeez to go out on loan. Unless a deal sheet has been put in there will be no incomings.

    1. The azeez more especially is puzzling. Perfect chance for him to play some europa league matches and make an impression. Why aren’t we giving our academy players a real chance now?

      1. That one seemed odd to me as well, cups would seem ideal until Jan. Can only assume we want him playing more regular minutes as he’d have no chance of playing in the league. Only 6 Europa games and 1 guaranteed Carabao. If he gets double figures league games + cups in that time with his new side maybe that is better or maybe that is a deal we’ve made with him personally that he’ll go out on loan for the entire season.

    2. They were reportedly trying to free up the wage bill for FFP in anticipation of a D Luiz transfer from Villa. Trying to do things right–unlike other teams–but screwed up in the end.

    1. @ #Palmer17 You are a True-Gunner…. I trust that Oleksandr-Zinchenko can be moved to partner Granit-XHAKA in midfield allowing room for Kieran-Tierney and Takehiro-Tomiyasu to be eased back into the team now that they are very fit and raring-to-go. I’m happy #FabioVIERA and #EmileSmithROWE will be like new sign-ons. I trust the PROCESS and I know we’ll definitely get some fresh faces-in in January. Up-Gooners4Life!!! 💞💞💞

  4. We take a step forward, and 3 steps backwards.

    I have said on this platform that the DM role was top priority. We should have gone for Ruben Neves even when Partey wasn’t injured. And, today, we missed out on Luiz. I felt the club should have made a 35m pound deal for Luiz or a 55m pound deal for Neves. Lokonga is not a 6. Xhaka can’t be relied on all season. Azeez and AMN are both loaned out.

    We have Europa league matches, FA Cup, and league games.

    Naivety on the part of Arteta and Edu.

    1. Talk about hyperbole. Jesus/Zinchenko/Vieira/Marquinhos/Turner in + Saliba returned. No major exits although I guess Pepe/Nuno were 1st team squad last year and its “3 steps backwards.” Mari/AMN who went on loan Jan technically started last season in the 1st team squad if you really want to push it.

      “According to The Athletic, the coaching staff at Arsenal believe Albert Sambi Lokonga is a better fit than Thomas Partey for the No.6 role.”

      Obviously they meant long-term but there has always been a belief he can play that role.

      Partey is back in 3 games why is everyone pretending he is out until Jan?

      1. Ok Angus.

        Let us see as it goes. If Arteta did not see the need to bring in a Defensive midfielder, we wouldn’t have made 3 bids in a day to bring in Luiz.

        If we really wanted to address the defensive midfield role, we should have brought in someone who is fitter and can have same influence like Partey. Ruben Neves should have been done at the early stage of the window.

        And then we won’t have to rush Partey back when he hasn’t fully recovered.

        Someone Like Partey who is so important to the way the team sets out to play can’t be missing every now and then.

        I appreciate your views though. Cheers

      2. Because usually when partey is out for 3 games, he’s actually out for much longer.. Man’s a sick note.

        1. Partey missed 17 matches last season because of injuries.

          Year before that he missed 14 matches because of injuries.

          From 2016 to 2020 at Atletico, he missed total of 6 games due to injury.

          1. What really is Arsenal doctors not getting right? Injury seems to like our players more when they join us.

          2. We have known we have an injury prone player as he has only been available for 58% of the time.Our priority should have been to sign a reliable player to deputise when he is not fit. Follow city’s example when they lost a defender to injury they went out and signed a replacement so they would not be short of cover in their defence. Why do we always fail to learn from previous mistakes?

  5. I’m happy with the business we did and just looks like the final push for a player wasn’t possible to fit into the finances we have currently. Hopefully we will be ok without anymore injuries and I’m so looking forward to the next game. I don’t understand supporters being so negative before there is even a reason to be, is it just so they can say they told you so if their prediction comes true. Reminds me of the depressed robot in hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Get behind the team, we won’t win every game but something is building. It was clear last season and it’s even clearer this. Coyg

    1. No Dan. Let us not kid our selves. We did not make top4 last season because of that. We need steel in midfield. Lokonga can’t play against a man city Liverpool or spurs. He is not quick enough. He has a poor first touch and can’t boss the midfield. This is not a knee jerk reaction.
      Not signing a DM player is irresponsible on the part of Edu and Arteta.

      1. Arteta isn’t responsible for signing players, why blame him. There were more reasons than just an extra DM In not finishing top four last season, we played with a young squad that was inevitable to have dips and in some ways we over achieved, the frustration was we got so close to a top four which not many expected at that seasons start. Arsenal were trying to get the right player in at the right deal for all, didn’t happen move on. Some people just want signings in regardless of consequence. Why do supporters think the professionals know less than them. If it all goes tits up then be negative but I’m still excited for the season and to see the team develop further

    2. More injuries are inevitable. I don’t know the solution for the DM position either. Highly likely Xhaka has to go back to that role and the abuse over him will start again even tho we know he’s in a role that’s no good for him. Whoever has to play DM I won’t blame them. They are in a position they shouldn’t be and those in charge of transfers are responsible for leaving us short. Also worrying no Saka backup. Arteta needs to stop playing him every EPL match

    3. I so love your sense-of-reasoning man. Gosh, I love you. This is the Spirit. One-Love. Gunners4Life!!!💓💓💓

  6. At least we didn’t pay silly money for Luiz which is positive and it might be a blessing in disguise that Lokonga will play a few games in a row to see how he progress……

          1. Partey is back in 3, people are acting like he’s out for the season. He’s played 48 and missed 28 league games for us in previous seasons. 51/29 if you include this season. Not ideal but not the majority missed by any means. We also have Zinchenko as option we didn’t last year as well as White who was nailed on at CB.

            1. I agree, either of those two are good enough to challenge Party for the role.

              Plus Sambi had a good game last night. He was poor last April but damned good last Autumn. Young players go in and out of form but he will improve if he has Europa Cup games.

              We made a decent bid for Luiz. Villa turned down £25m for a lad who was on the bench Wednesday night will be worth nothing to them next June.

              It was not worth panicking and bidding higher, there are only eleven league games until the break, we can manage easily until then and if we need more players we can bring them in the next window.

        1. It will be so beautiful to put #BENWHITE in that middle to partner with Xhaka and Albert-Sambi-Lokonga and even #Oleksandr-Zinchenko. Man we are stick-it-out with these amazing players till #ThomasPARTEY is back fit…. I’m not not shaking at all afterall to me #BukayoSAKA has compatible back-ups in #Marquinhos and #FabioVIERA. Qed….

    1. It seems you did not watch Lokonga last season.

      Lokonga is not a Defensive midfielder.

      He is an ideal number 8. Xhaka has played in more advanced roles on the left this season because of Partey’s ability on the ball.

      With Lokonga playing alongside Xhaka, it will change the dynamics of the team. Lokonga is not ready to play as a DM.

      All we needed to do was to get Ruben Neves in at all cost even before Partey was injured.

      Every top team has a strong Defensive midfielder.
      Man united got a Casemiro for a huge amount.

      Liverpool has Fabinho.

      Man city has Rodri and Kelvin Philips.

      Spurs have Bissouma.

      This is a mistake honestly.

      We should stop behaving like a fisherman who went to fish and is happy he caught nothing.

      1. If we don’t qualify for CL next year due to a poor midfield, either Arteta or Edu has to go. They were told, they were advised, the fans demanded it!!! WE NEED A DM!! But nothing!
        Errors need to have consequences.
        Ten Hang is a good coach, although he’s now managing a parched team. He may need a job next year. Just insinuating…

  7. We always muck up by not matching the asking price,
    Why waste time trying to secure on the cheap!!
    It NEVER works.This could wreck our season.

    1. Villa said Luiz would be available for 20 mil according to sky then changed their minds. He is not worth more than 25 mil in the current market with 1 year left on contract. 25 mil is pushing it.

      1. The fault was in waiting for a deadline day deal. Hinging the whole first half of the season on villa accepting our offers when it was never a certainty

        1. We haven’t done that though. Lokonga is fit to play. Zinchenko will make the bench likely against United. Behind that we have Xhaka/White able to play there with fit options in their positions (ESR/Vieira/Tomi/Cedric/Gabriel/Saliba/Holding)and Partey is due back at the start of the international break (3 games away) and before our tougher run of fixtures.

          There is literally 13 games before the window opens again. Much ado about nothing.

          1. Partey can’t be relied upon to play 6 games without having another injury.
            If Ben White can play in the Defensive midfield role, Arteta would have played in there in pre season or last season. So, that is not an option to consider.
            A team with the kind of momentum we have presently can’t afford any form of weakness. Lokonga is the weak link at the moment.

            He should be playing Europa league games or sent out on loan. He is not a defensive midfielder anyway.

            I say it again, this is not good enough. All the good work done this window has been messed up by not signing a defensive midfielder.

            Anyways, I will support the players we have.

          2. Partey hasn’t been given a timeframe. After international break is very generous. He’s reinjured the area that took him out almost half a season

            1. Fantasy premier league has him expected back 18th September. Epl injury table has him as unknown. Either way he’s got 4 weeks and a couple days before the Spurs game on top of the 1 week 5 days he’s had already so fingers crossed. Always a worry when it’s the same area though. He missed 14 league games last year total and not through one injury alone, missed the 1st 3 for sure so it could only be 9 league games max he missed from the thigh injury later in the season. Obviously I’d of liked Luiz just don’t think the world has ended because we didn’t sign him and we can still make moves in January.

      2. Gabriel Jesus also had one year left on his Man city contract and we paid 45m pounds for him.
        Raheem sterling also. And Chelsea’s paid almost 50m pounds.

        It is the selling club that knows what their player is worth.

        We are talking about making a deal for a player on the last day of the transfer window. When you offer 25m pounds, and it is rejected, you go for 35m pounds. There is a sell on clause in Luiz contract as well.
        Meaning Aston villa would have to pay Man city some amount from the money. All these should have been factored in by Edu. This is incompetence and naivety on the part of whoever was responsible.

        The DM position is even more important than the Right wing role.

        We don’t learn as a club. We keep falling short.

        Lokonga can’t boss the midfield. Let us be real.

        55m pounds would have gotten Neves.

        1. I wish Edu and Arteta have this same manner of reasoning but it seems they don’t. They seem to believe Lokonga is good enough for a cover. It’s a shame our high hopes will gradually become eroded in a manner it did in the battle for the top four last season.

  8. We mustn’t forget the excellent signings we have already made, when assessing this window, but it does feel as if we have shot ourselves in the foot again, just like we did in last January’s window.

    We have let two seasoned professionals leave (AMN and Bellerin) while our midfield has not been strengthened and, due to injuries, severely weakened.

    Mikel and Edu tried to sign Neves and there was this ongoing saga with Tieleman at Leicester – but we are where we are and it is what it is.

    Let’s see what squad appears at Old Trafford and keep the positivity going.

    1. We’ll always support the team, but we can’t be in denial if we see errors of judgement. It’s a very poor end to the window after a tremendous beginning. Something went wrong though.

  9. Arsenal must consider replacing Partey in the January transfer window, because he can’t stay fit for majority of the season. He’s on very high wages and spends more time in the hospital than on the field. A fraction of his salary should be retained on a pro rata basis for his non appearances in matches , to help fund his replacement. Other players that must be sold and replaced appropriately are Elneny, Holding and Cedric.

    1. Without a doubt. Think we have all lost our patience with Partey. He’s of no use being injured for 60% of our matches. This was always Elnenys swan song and unfortunate a player who never gets injured will be out for a while now. So frustrating. White or Xhaka are gonna have to play there. Wish we didn’t get rid of AMN and azeez. Now we are also gonna have to play one of our starters in DM for europa league matches too in a very easy group. The decision making on this last day was just poor ugh. Anyways that’s my complaining for the night. Hate the window ended on a downer

  10. Villa has got one back on us!
    I had a nagging feeling they wouldn’t sell Douglas Luiz to us. We just beat them at the Emirates on the eve of deadline day. And we refused to sell Smith-Rowe to them a couple of years ago. They’ve been smarting on two fronts!
    And to think that Liverpool and Chelsea got two easy loan deals from Juventus in the form of Melo and Zakarian – two deals which would have been perfect for us.
    I agree that we did well not to pay stupid for Luiz. If he’s that good. we can always go for a free transfer next summer and have our revenge on the villains!

  11. Mixed emotions at the end of this window: the good, the bad and the ugly. The good – we are top of the league; the bad – as predicted, key players are out injured. And the bad – we missed the opportunity to strengthen the spine of the midfield again, electing instead to waste 35M on midfield project in Fabio Vieira.

    1. Pure misplacement of priority. What is the use of spending 34M on Viera as a midfield project when we all know DM is our problem area? We were linked with Neves, Renato, Savic, Melo, Bruno Zakaria, etc, but we end up with none. Same old story.

  12. Last season no europa league and this season we have one in our hands and i hope you notice the rush of everything due to WC…well i still believe we can still do better this season

  13. Irrespective of whether Arsenal succeeded to sign two of Douglas Luiz, Danilo and Mykhayio or not at the end of this summer transfer window today or not. But not withstanding the shortcoming. (seemingly) My believe remain Arsenal will at Old Traford on Sunday, beat Manchester United in the big game EPL match encounter that will take place between the Red Devils and our dear own Gunners.
    The binding of the Red Devils and casting them out into the deepest depth of the Manchester River by the Gunners in the game will definitely takes place during the match.
    Which the Gunners will carry out to the letter in the game during the playing of match to punish and teach a hard lesson to those people like the anti-Arsenal Steven Gerald the Aston Villa manager. Who when he the Reds captain made sure he prevented Luis Suarez from joining Arsenal a repeat of the same action he has done to Arsenal on transfer deadline day today stopping Douglas Luiz from Joining Arsenal I perceive. So too I believe the Manchester Utd manager Erick Ten Hag and the PGMO have their hands soild in this conspiracy against Arsenal orchestratedly designed to imped Arsenal on their EPL winning run push this season. With the PGMO appointment from the Greater Manchester of the match centrereferee and head of VAR for the match looking to tilt the outcome of the match proceedings to the favour of Man Utd.
    Which definitely is a conspiracy ,moves plotted against Arsenal to cynically stop them from beating Man Utd. So as to stop the Gunners from extending their winning run in the EPL to six on the trot at Old Traford this season. But Arsenal will prevail over their sworn enemies and adversaries.

  14. I would like to see egg splattered all over my face and be proven wrong, but it seems that Arsenal are simply afraid to go for glory and deliberately undersell themselves. In some quarters it might be called lack of ambition. A kind of “we are not worthy” mentality. In 2015-16 Arsenal had the league title at its mercy, everyone knew what was needed but Wegner settled for the cheapest option available and settled for Elneny. This season, sitting on top of the table we loan out what’s left of our possible reserves and decide to leave it at that. Who knows, maybe the higher ups do know more than us fans??? Do we have any choice but to trust them?Regarding our next game though I think we will get a result but it’s only going to get more difficult from there as tired bodies and our rivals ongoing improvement could put an end to the good vibes. Let’s hope I’m wrong as usual and every match day remains Christmas.

  15. Same mistake like last season when we released Kolosinac when we knew that Tierney is also an injury-prone player and Tavares is not up to the task in that position, also AMN should not have left to Roma by then.

  16. Always so negative on here. We ended last season with a squad of 21. The current first team squad rota is 24 and that is set to be increased to 25 with the confirmed promotion of Hein. That is the exact number Arteta said he wanted at the beginning of the transfer window. I wouldnt be suprised to see Matt Smith promoted along with Hein.

    Yes it is unfortunate that both Partey and Elneny are injured at the same time and it is a bit confusing as to why azeez, maitland-niles, akinola and olayinka have all been allowed to leave. Perhaps there is a deal sheet? Or an out of contract player in the pipeline, but if there is not, at least Arteta has the squad size he wants even if not all the personnel.

    1. Deduct one off those numbers, now Bellerin has gone.

      39 departures since the end of last season, got to be a record?

  17. Nothing ever gets done by Arsenal in January except loaning out more players not to mention further injuries. One game at.a time though.

    1. The decision not to bring in a DM will cost us big time we will get turned over on Sunday and then watch the slide begin all the positivity from the fans will ware off very quickly and they will turn on Arteta can’t see us finishing top 4 which would be a big failure!

  18. He wanted 3 keepers he has Ramsdale Turner Hein

    He wanted 22 outfield players, he has 8 defenders, 7 midfielders (if you include Matt Smith) and 7 forwards.

    There is your 25 man squad Mikel, now show us what you are made of. Prove the doubters on here they are wrong.

  19. Not a fair criticism I would say.
    Apart from football being a fun activity to ma y of us, it’s also a business activity in which accounts be balanced.
    Consider this, how much did the club make in player sales vs how much was expended in bringing 8n new players

  20. 2022 January transfer window 2.0. And we all know how that turned out. Manure will be better this season and scum are relatively consistently continuing the run from last season. There’s huge risk of finishing 5th again.

  21. Sometimes fans forget that a prospective player judges his chances of regular playing time before okaying a move. You don’t want to play four games and the injured player recovers and you are stuck on the bench. As a Gunner, am miffed, but come on people there is more to this than meets the eye. Ben White is an option in there. Hopefully we don’t have further issues.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors