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Arsenal handed potential defensive injury blow ahead of international break

Arsenal handed potential defensive injury blow ahead of international break

Arsenal have been dealt something of a potential blow on the injury front to compound their wretched start to 2022.

Yet to win this calender year, and out of two competitions in the space of 14 days, it has not been the most encouraging new year for the Gunners.

And now, it has emerged that the injury to defender Takehiro Tomiyasu may have been more severe than first thought, as he has withdrawn from Japan’s squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

He was due to join up with the national side to face China and Saudi Arabia, but will instead now remain at London Colney.

The right-back has quickly become a fan favourite in north London, turning in a string of impressive performances. However, he struggled against Liverpool, with manager Mikel Arteta revealing that he was in fact not fully fit to play, and only did so to make up the numbers.

“We didn’t want to play him, we had to push him because Cedric and Callum were out and we didn’t have any full backs”, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed, before adding:

“The moment that he knew that he knew that he said that he would play. He didn’t have any training sessions with us, and still was willing play and compete the way he has done today. So I am extremely proud and grateful for the players that we have”

A Midfield crisis too

Tomiyasu’s likely absence from the home tie to bottom of the table Burnley on Sunday adds to a selection headache that Arteta already has in central midfield, where he has one senior option. Both Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey picked up red cards in the two-legged affair with Liverpool, meaning that they are suspended for this clash.

This leaves just Sambi Lokonga as a recognised midfielder, while youngster Charlie Patino is also an option. And, with Cedric also out, it seems that Calum Chambers will be deployed at right-back rather than filling in at central midfield as he has previously on loans away from the club.

One possible solution is to move Ben White into midfield, but this would disrupt the strong partnership that is brewing between him and Gabriel at the heart of the Gunners’ defence. Midfield remains a massive cause for concern for Arteta, and could well cost them any top 4 hopes.

Read more:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 36 72 89
2 Liverpool FC 36 65 86
3 Chelsea FC 36 42 70
4 Tottenham Hotspur 37 24 68
5 Arsenal FC 36 11 66
6 Manchester United 37 1 58
7 West Ham United 36 11 55
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 36 -3 50
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 36 -4 47
10 Leicester City 35 -4 45
11 Crystal Palace 35 4 44
12 Aston Villa 35 -1 43
13 Brentford FC 36 -8 43
14 Newcastle United 36 -21 43
15 Southampton FC 36 -20 40
16 Everton FC 35 -19 36
17 Burnley FC 36 -18 34
18 Leeds United 36 -38 34
19 Watford FC 36 -38 23
20 Norwich City 36 -56 21

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 21
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 18
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 16
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 15
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 14
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 13
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 13
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 11
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa 11
Maddison, James Leicester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 10
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 10