David Luiz has ‘no chance’ of playing in tomorrow evening’s Europa League clash against Dundalk, and is a big doubt for Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford.
The Brazilian had to come off just two minutes into the second half of the 1-0 defeat to Leicester last weekend, and his injury adds to the litany of problems Mikel Arteta has to contend with in the central defensive areas.
Although Shkodran Mustafi is back from his hamstring injury Rob Holding and Pablo Mari remain sidelined with the latter now well beyond his initial return date of late September following ankle surgery. Calum Chambers is still making his way back from the ACL injury he sustained in January, while William Saliba is available in the Premier League but was not registered for the Europa League.
It leaves the Arsenal boss with some serious thinking to do when it comes to his team selection against Dundalk, with an element of risk involved if he picks someone like Gabriel who will be so important for the Manchester United encounter.
“We try to go game by game,” said the Spaniard, “but obviously in the last ten days we’ve had a lot of issues at the back with the central defenders.
“We have to be cautious that we manage that position very carefully, because if we lose another one then in big trouble.
“So, of course we have to keep an eye on how we’re going to manage the squad in the next two or three games.”
With that in mind, chances are we might see something of a makeshift central defence for Arsenal tomorrow night, perhaps a pairing of Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka, or even a three with Sead Kolasinac involved too.
Meanwhile, Willian could play a part having missed the Leicester game, while Bukayo Saka has been training as normal despite taking a kick which forced him off against the Foxes.