Arsenal’s rising star, William Saliba, finds himself facing a fresh injury setback, casting doubt on his availability for the upcoming Premier League clash against Bournemouth.
Saliba, who has been a consistent presence in the starting lineup this season, with the exception of the recent Carabao Cup match against Brentford, had only just returned from a troublesome back injury that sidelined him for the latter part of the 2022/23 campaign.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Saliba joins the ranks of injured Gunners, with Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, and Fabio Vieira also nursing recent ailments, potentially jeopardizing their participation in the Bournemouth game.
Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, addressed the mounting injury concerns, revealing that decisions regarding Saliba and Vieira’s involvement would be made late.
Speaking about the situation, Arteta remarked, “They are all in the same pool.”
He highlighted that even key players like Saka and Trossard were uncertain due to their recent training absences, underscoring the magnitude of the issue.
Last season, such an injury crisis would have severely hampered Arsenal’s prospects. However, the club’s summer signings and the emergence of fringe players offer some relief.
Notably, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Reiss Nelson, who impressed in the mid-week victory over Brentford, are ready to step in if needed.
Tomiyasu’s presence in the center, replacing Saliba, suggests the Frenchman’s potential absence.
While Saka and Rice have their own concerns, it appears that Saliba’s injury may have been identified more definitively.
According to reports by the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel, Saliba’s injury is attributed to a foot issue.
Fortunately, it appears that the problems affecting Saka and Rice are not severe enough to rule them out of contention.
Nevertheless, as Arsenal faces a pivotal week, the duo may be rested to ensure their full recovery.
Comparatively, Saliba’s injury seems less severe than Newcastle winger Harvey Barnes, who suffered a foot injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for three months.
In Saliba’s case, an injury to this area is more likely to result from impact rather than a muscular issue. Even if it is the latter, the likelihood of a severe setback remains relatively low.
Arsenal will be closely monitoring the situation as they prepare for the crucial clash against Bournemouth.