Mat Ryan was a notable absentee from Arsenal’s squad to face West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, with Runar Alex Runarsson taking his place.

Mat Ryan of Arsenal Arsenal v Manchester City, UK - 21 Feb 2021. Copyright: Arron Gent / JMP / Shutterstock
Mat Ryan of Arsenal Arsenal v Manchester City, UK – 21 Feb 2021. Copyright: Arron Gent / JMP / Shutterstock

Arriving at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal had three goalkeepers with them: Bernd Leno, Runar Alex Runarsson, and Arthur Okonkwo. Despite starting Arsenal’s last league game, Mat Ryan wasn’t even there as the third choice.

Charles Watts explained on Twitter that this was due to illness, with Simon Collings confirming the goalkeeper is unwell.

It’s certainly unfortunate timing for the 29-year-old, given he was just starting to get a few more games for the team. As he’s only on loan at the moment, Ryan will want to continue to impress and earn a permanent deal.

The illness is also far from Arsenal’s first in recent weeks. Cedric Soares was hospitalised before the team’s second leg against Villarreal, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still just about getting over his battle with malaria.

Perhaps this is just another consequence of players being run down at the end of a long season that almost immediately followed on from the previous one. Arsenal’s 2019/20 season ended in August and the new one began in August, a far cry from the usual May-August break from competitive club matches.

We wish all three of them the best with getting back to full health and fitness.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.