Granit Xhaka will miss approximately three months of action with an injury to his medial knee ligament, but he won’t require surgery.
Arsenal have confirmed that Granit Xhaka has a significant injury to his medial knee ligament. After specialist consultation, they’ve determined he doesn’t require surgery, but he will need a fairly lengthy rehabilitation period.
Arsenal write that Xhaka’s recovery programme will start immediately and put him back in action in around three months. So we may see him back on the pitch days before the end of 2021.
On top of the obvious disappointment of the injury itself, this also means Arteta is set to face problems in midfield until at least next February. As soon as Xhaka returns, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny will be preparing to leave for AFCON.
Albert Sambi Lokonga suddenly looks to have a much bigger role to play in his debut season. Ainsley Maitland-Niles sticking around is also looking like a key decision, as he’ll offer some much-needed cover for the absent trio.
For now, we may see more of the system with Partey, Martin Odegaard, and Emile Smith Rowe together in midfield. The downside is that it takes Smith Rowe out of the front three, where he was so effective against Spurs.
It’s something for Mikel Arteta to ponder. We’ll get our first look at his plan for the team without Xhaka when Arsenal travel to Brighton on Saturday.