When it comes to injuries, Arsenal a club that are far too familiar with them throughout the Premier League era.
From Robin van Persie to Jack Wilshere to Abou Diaby, the Gunners have garnered a reputation for themselves over the years as a club with fantastic technical players that are more familiar with the injury table than they are with the football pitch, and this season has seen the same problems occur.
Kieran Tierney has spent numerous weeks out on the sidelines due to different injuries that have plagued the talented Scottish defender since joining from Celtic in 2019, whilst the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and loanee Martin Odegaard have also endured multiple knocks that have kept the creative players out of the squad.
And this weekend saw Mikel Arteta confirm before Arsenal’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle United via The Evening Standard that the aforementioned Tierney, as well as Alexandre Lacazette, are unlikely to feature on Thursday night against Villarreal in what is, undoubtedly, the biggest game for the Gunners this season.
Indeed, the news came as a hammer blow to Arsenal fans, who were told last week by Arteta that Lacazette and Tierney were in contention to start the first-leg against Villarreal, yet now the Gunners face a mountain to climb, with the north London side currently 2-1 down to the La Liga side with the home tie on the horizon.
Yet the news highlighted a major problem that has been evident in the Arsenal side for some time, the lack of squad depth and the need for extra bodies in specific areas of the team.
Tierney has this season been the club’s only natural left-back, with Granit Xhaka and Cedric Soares covering for the Scottish international whenever he has been unavailable for selection, and this summer will provide an ideal window of opportunity for Arteta to plug these holes in the squad and to bulk out the team with quality options that are much needed if the Gunners are to elevate themselves back to the top of English football.