Arsenal have reportedly been dealt a potential setback regarding William Saliba and the injury he picked up against Sporting CP.
With 21 minutes on the clock in Thursday’s 1-1 draw that ultimately saw the Gunners get knocked out of the Europa League on penalties, the defender was forced off the pitch with a suspected injury.
Now though, some behind-the-scenes details have emerged which will surely be a big concern for everyone at the north London club.
According to a recent report from RMC Sport (via Sport Witness) further examinations on Saliba’s back injury have found it to be more serious than first feared.
The report also adds that with Arsenal having already decided to leave him out of the squad for Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace, the defender is also expected to be out of France’s squad for the upcoming international break.
This season has seen the centre-back start all 27 of Arsenal’s Premier League games prior to the Palace match, completing the full 90 minutes in all but one of them.
Is William Saliba Arsenal's best defender?
Across those appearances, the Frenchman has made more recoveries (206) and tackles in the defensive third of the pitch (23) than any other Gunners player, as well as having the second-highest number of aerial duels won (53) and clearances (85) at the club.
With that in mind, it’s clear that he’s been a big player for Mikel Arteta’s side this season and will be a big miss for them if he’s likely to be out of action for a significant period of time.
Moving forward, with the international break following the game against Palace, everyone at the north London club will undoubtedly have their fingers crossed that Saliba can use that time to recover and get back ready in time for what will be a crucial period of the season for Arsenal in their hunt to win the Premier League title.