Arsenal youth defender Joel Lopez is having an injury problem assessed, after missing the u23 match at the weekend.
Ahead of Arsenal’s u23 match against Derby on Friday, the team were dealt a number of defensive blows, including the absence of left-wing-back Joel Lopez.
Whilst the team were also missing right-wing-backs Zak Swanson and Brooke Norton-Cuffy, and centre-backs Omar Rekik and Zane Monlouis, Lopez was one of the biggest misses of the lot.
The fact is that Arsenal just don’t really have a replacement for him in the current u23 squad.
Winger Kido Taylor-Hart ended up playing the left-wing-back role. He didn’t look too comfortable doing so, eventually coming off around the hour mark for u18 defender Henry Jeffcott.
That’s not to mention that Lopez has been one of Arsenal’s better-performing players, directly contributing to six goals, through two goals and four assists.
Even if Arsenal did have another u23 left-wing-back available, Lopez’s absence would still be felt. It’s just even worse when there isn’t an obvious alternative.
Unfortunately, Jeorge Bird reported after the game that Lopez has had to have a scan to assess an injury.
Until the results of that scan are known, it’s possible we could be missing Lopez for a while. Jeffcott may find himself involved more often in the meantime.