Arsenal will have to wait with bated breath as many of their key title contenders will be away from north London during the season’s final international break. This is always a stressful time for Premier League managers because the players chosen for their national teams are taken out of their hands.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping for a full recovery when his Premier League title challengers return to face Leeds United in early April.
However, the Arsenal manager has already suffered one setback, as defender Takehiro Tomiyasu was ruled out for the season on Tuesday afternoon after undergoing knee surgery, joining Mohamed Elneny as players who will not play again this season.
Meanwhile, Arteta will be hoping that Eddie Nketiah and William Saliba will be close to returning after the two-week break, though the extent of their injuries is unknown. With that said, here’s a look at the most recent Arsenal injury news ahead of next weekend’s match against Leeds.
William Saliba limped off in Arsenal’s Europa League exit last week against Sporting CP, suffering a back injury that forced the youngster to be replaced. The Frenchman then missed the weekend match against Crystal Palace, raising further concerns about his availability.
The France Football Federation officially announced that Saliba, who had been called up for the squad earlier in the week, would be replaced from the men’s senior international team following his injury.
The defender will now undergo additional scans to determine the extent and severity of the injury, with the hope of returning before the end of the season.
“We hope Willy [Saliba] will be better news,” Arteta stated. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get a better picture.”
The expected return date is unknown.
During Gabriel Jesus’ absence, Nketiah stepped up to the plate and led Arsenal to a string of crucial victories. However, football.london understands that the Gunners will be without the Hale End Graduate until after the international break due to an ankle injury.
Nketiah, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium expires in 2027, has appeared in 33 games for Arsenal this season, assisting on 11 goals, four of which came in wins over West Ham, Brighton, and Manchester United during the hectic New Year’s schedule.
What Nketiah has said: Nketiah has posted a positive update on his recovery on social media ahead of the match against the Eagles. “Grafting! *muscle emoji* #SoonBack,” said the Hale End grad.
Nketiah posted another photo to his Instagram story, captioning it, “Rehab crew, monster mentality *brain emoji* *finger point emoji*.”
“He’s getting better,” Arteta said. He’s still in there. He’s still a few weeks away, so we’ll have to wait. It was a severe injury, and he faces a significant challenge ahead of him. It could have been much worse. So he’s not in a bad situation.”
The expected return date is in late March/early April.
Takehiro Tomiyasu was replaced within the first ten minutes of Arsenal’s match against Sporting CP at the Emirates Stadium. The Japanese defender had overstretched for a tackle early in the game and needed to be treated on the pitch shortly after, rendering him unable to continue.
The Japan international was not named to the squad to face Crystal Palace at the weekend, and it was later revealed that he had knee surgery. The medical staff is now aware of the extent of the defender’s injury.
“Tomi had successful surgery in London on Tuesday and will be out for the rest of the season,” the club said in a statement. Everyone at the club will now be working hard to get Tomi ready for pre-season training next season.”
“We don’t know,” Arteta stated. The doctor is conducting an examination. We have one assessment, and I believe they will need another tomorrow. It’s not looking promising. Tomi is not the type to exaggerate. He was immediately concerned, and we are concerned.”
The expected return date is June.
Elneny started and played the entire 90-minute game against Oxford United in the FA Cup. The Egyptian, however, was missing from Arteta’s squad for the 2-0 win at Tottenham, with a knee injury picked up in training ahead of the game being assessed. Furthermore, there was no room on the bench to face Manchester United.
Last month, a club statement confirmed that the former Basel man will be out for an extended period of time, though no timetable for his return was given. Elneny has since signed a new contract with Arsenal as he prepares to return.
Date of expected return: N/A