Arsenal have provided injury updates on Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey after Crystal Palace defeat.
Mikel Arteta will be without Kieran Tierney for the rest of the season whilst Takehiro Tomiyasu will be unavailable for at least the next two games and join full training after the trip to Southampton.
Thomas Partey is to be assessed ahead of the weekend, but the vagueness of the update will not encourage Arsenal supporters.
The defeat to Crystal Palace yesterday was arguably the second worst thing about the awful night. The news of the Arsenal squad being depleted by the absence of Tierney followed by Partey’s issue is a huge blow.
Especially considering that Nuno Tavares who replaced Tierney was very poor in his stead.
Cedric Soares has deputised for a number of weeks in Tomiyasu’s stead; however, the Japanese international’s disciplined style would have been the perfect foil to Tavares’ defensive deficiencies.
The hope will be that if Partey is unavailable that Albert Sambi Lokonga can find the form that cemented his place in the Arsenal team during the first half of the season.
From his short cameo at Selhurst Park, however, there are positive signs that this could indeed happen.
Arsenal will be thankful that their next two games are against sides they should be confident of picking up maximum points. Brighton visit the Emirates on Saturday before Arsenal travel to Southampton a week later.
After, Arteta may have both Partey and Tomiyasu back as a run of three fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham unfolds over 12 days.
These next five games will determine whether the Gunners will remain in a top-four chase or if they are fighting to remain in the European places.