Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been given yet another injury blow, with Takehiro Tomiyasu set to miss “a few weeks.”
The Japan international was left out of the starting lineup in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley at the Emirates Stadium.
Tomiyasu, a £16 million summer transfer from Bologna, has been a key component of Arsenal’s backline this season, making 17 Premier League games.
However, the 23-year-old seems to be set for a little layoff as he heals from his ailment, which Arteta did not comment on.
Due to injuries to Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares, and Bernd Leno, as well as the suspensions of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, Arteta had a reduced team.
Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe have both been on international service, representing Egypt and Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, respectively.
And now, after playing through the pain barrier against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup last week, the Gunners manager seems to be without his first-choice right-back Tomiyasu.
“We didn’t have someone to play in that position against Liverpool because Tomi suffered an injury,” Arteta told reporters.
“He has to heal and take care of himself in order to be ready as soon as possible.”
“He’ll be away for a few weeks,” says the narrator.
Arteta has been reduced to bare-bones usage after losing another first-team regular, and he was forced to employ Ben White as a substitute right-back against Burnley.
Normally, Chambers and Cedric would be counted upon to fill in, but both have been ruled out of play in recent weeks.
Chambers has been dealing with a neck condition, while Cedric suffered a hip injury in Liverpool’s 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final loss.
However, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will be pleased that Tomiyasu should be able to return to training in time for the club’s next Premier League match.
During the Premier League’s regular winter break, Arteta and his team flew to Dubai for warm-weather training, which might provide him with an opportunity to reset.
Arsenal is fighting for a top-four finish after a dismal start to the season, but they haven’t won in their previous five games in all competitions.
After beating West Ham 1-0, Manchester United leapfrogged them into fourth place in the Premier League, despite their previous loss to relegation-threatened Burnley.
The Spaniard is apparently looking to add to his squad before the January 31 transfer deadline, with deals for Dusan Vlahovic and Arthur Melo in the works.
With just a week before the winter transfer window ends, Arteta concedes it will be tough to complete the transactions on time.
“We planned it,” he continued, “but the market is tricky and intricate.”
“We were aware of this, but it’s a lot to handle.” We need to make the proper judgments with people we feel will be of genuine assistance to us, and aim to bring in those who can help us go to the next level.
“We’re giving it our all, but whether we’ll be able to pull it off remains to be seen.”