Arsenal dealt major blow as star set to miss Liverpool trip

The Gunners will have to earn three points the hard way

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have been dealt a major blow as reports suggest that star defender William Saliba will miss Sunday’s trip to Anfield as he looks to recover from a back injury.

The Frenchman, who has been impressive for the Gunners in his first full season with the club, picked up an issue during their Europa League round of 16 defeat to Sporting Lisbon, having to be substituted after just 21 minutes in the second leg at the Emirates Stadium.

He missed Arsenal’s Premier League win over Leeds United over the weekend, but it was hoped that he would be fit enough to take on Liverpool on Easter Sunday, with Mikel Arteta seemingly hopeful on his chances of playing again this season.

“Yeah I am very hopeful and he is as well”, the Gunners boss explained. “Back injuries are a bit tricky and how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas. Let’s push it and see how he copes with that. He’s so willing to be back in the team.”

However, the Sun report that Saliba will be forced to sit out the trip to Anfield this weekend, where Arsenal have not won in the Premier League in 11 years, as he recovers.

‘The French international defender is still struggling with a back injury and has been unable to train for the past fortnight’, they claim, before adding that ‘Mikel Arteta is refusing to take any risks with the 22-year-old’ with a trip to the Etihad looming on the horizon in three weeks time.

With Takehiro Tomiyasu also having been ruled out for the season with a knee injury sustained in the same game, Arsenal’s replacement options are limited and it will likely be Rob Holding, who has started in Saliba’s place either side of the international break, who lines up alongside Gabriel at Anfield.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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