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…
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