Mikel Arteta has confirmed a number of injury problems in the current squad, explaining quite a few of Sunday’s absences.
When Arsenal named their pre-season friendly squad to face Everton in the early hours of Sunday morning, there were quite a few tour players missing.
Bernd Leno, Aaron Ramsdale, Runar Alex Runarsson, Ben White, Kieran Tierney, Fabio Vieira, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Marquinhos, and Emile Smith Rowe were all absent, despite being in the USA with the rest of the squad.
Some of those players were likely just left out because they had no chance to play, like Leno, Ramsdale, and Runarsson. Mikel Arteta didn’t need four goalkeepers on the bench when he was planning to give Matt Turner 90 minutes.
But it seems many of the rest are nursing injuries and knocks at the moment.
“We have Kieran [Tierney] with a slight problem, we have Emile [Smith Rowe] with a muscular niggle, [Takehiro] Tomiyasu as well, and Ben [White],” Arteta explained after the game.
“Vieira has a slight problem in his bone, hopefully he will start to train in the next week or so.”
The only outfield player to go totally unexplained is Marquinhos. We’ll have to wait and see what his situation is.
It’s obviously not ideal to have so many potential starters missing. Right now, Tierney and Tomiyasu are clearly Arsenal’s first-choice full-backs – though the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko may make that less certain.
Similarly, it’s only William Saliba’s return that could possibly displace White as a starter, and Smith Rowe has often been selected over Gabriel Martinelli when both are fit.
Yet all four can’t seem to get fit, so Arsenal are going to have to find other solutions for the opening game of the season if that doesn’t change soon.
As for Vieira, he’s confirmed he just hasn’t fully recovered from the injury he sustained prior to joining Arsenal. We can remain optimistic this is just a one-off, as he doesn’t have a history of injury problems.