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Revealed: How long Arsenal are set to be without star man following injury setback

The Gunners have been hit with another injury blow

Arsenal are set to be without key man William Saliba for several weeks after he suffered a back injury playing against Sporting CP on Thursday, it has been reported.

The French defender was forced off shortly after Arsenal opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium, with Rob Holding having to come on to replace him as the Gunners went on to lose the tie on penalties.

And, though it was hoped that it was just a back spasm that may keep him sidelined for days rather than weeks, French outlet L’Equipe have since confirmed that he will be “out for several weeks” as a result of the issue.

(Photo by Richard Washbrooke/News Images) 2M57E3B William Saliba #12 of Arsenal during the Premier League match Arsenal vs West Ham United at Emirates Stadium, London, United Kingdom, 26th December 2022

(Photo by Richard Washbrooke/News Images) (Alamy Stock Photo)

The Frenchman will certainly miss the clash with newly-managerless Crystal Palace, with LeakedLineups on instagram revealing that the youngster did not travel with the squad, and that academy defender Ruell Walters had taken his place in Arteta’s 20-man party.

Worse still for Arsenal, Takehiro Tomiyasu is also expected to be sidelined for some time, which will leave Arteta unable to revert Ben White back to centre back to deal with the crisis he faces. It means that, in all likelihood, it will be veteran Gunner Rob Holding who lines up next to Gabriel until Saliba returns to full fitness.

Currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League, Arsenal host Crystal Palace in their final game before the international break, before returning with a home tie against relegation-threatened Leeds United before a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool, where they will need Saliba back to full fitness.


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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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