Arsenal u23 centre-back Harry Clarke picked up a minor injury in the last week or so, ruling him out of Friday’s North London derby.
Writing on Twitter, Clarke claimed he’s had a “minor” setback, but he’s “working hard to get back on the pitch. The centre-back last played for the u23s in the win over Monaco last Tuesday, but he completed the full match on that occasion.
Presumably, he was either playing with a knock that turned out to be something more serious, or he picked up the problem in training.
The protective boot Clarke is currently wearing is vaguely worrying, but that’s a fairly common precaution in the early stages of a foot injury. It’s clear he won’t be ready for the Spurs match on Friday though.
Arsenal might be a bit short at the back as a result. Pablo Mari and Rob Holding started recent u23 matches, but they’re presumably both with the first team for Saturday’s trip to Brighton. Joseph Olowu and Konstantinos Mavropanos are also out of contention due to their loan moves.
Thankfully, Daniel Ballard is back after a six-month absence following knee surgery. He played 45 minutes against Monaco and could make his first start on Friday.
There’s also Zech Medley, Tobi Omole and the chance for some of the u18s to step up, like Mazeed Ogungbo. We wish Clarke well with his recovery.