Gabriel Jesus was forced off with a hamstring problem during Arsenal’s Champions League win over Sevilla; Thomas Partey suffered a muscular injury in training; Mikel Arteta: “With the amount of games we have, it’s something we knew was going to happen”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals both Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus will be out for a least a few weeks with injuries and says it’s hard to avoid with the club’s schedule of games
Arsenal have suffered a double injury blow with Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey ruled out for a few weeks due to muscular injuries.
Jesus was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem after his goal and assist had helped Arsenal on their way to a 2-1 win over Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Partey missed out altogether, having suffered an injury in training.
The pair underwent scans in the wake of that game, with manager Mikel Arteta confirming at his press conference on Friday that they are set for spells on the sidelines.
“The scan shows there is a muscle injury and we might lose him for a few weeks,” Arteta said of Jesus. “With Gabi, I cannot give you any timeframe because he always surprises us.
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“But there’s something there he felt in an awkward action. It’s true he had quite a lot of load in the last few weeks, with the national team and then playing those games, which he hasn’t in a long time. It’s really bad news for us.”
On Partey, he added: “He has got a muscle injury and we expect him to be out for a few weeks.
“We don’t know the extent of it, he has more tests today. He picked it up with the last kick in training before Seville. It’s very unfortunate.”
Both players have already missed spells of this season due to injury, with Jesus undergoing a surgical procedure on his knee in August and Partey having only recently returned from a groin problem.
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Arteta confirmed Partey’s injury is not related to his groin, adding: “He was coming from a period of absence and he needed minutes.
“He played with the national team and we tried to be in touch with them. Then he had two games in Chelsea and Seville very very close.
“We decided not to load him up on the first game and play him in Seville, and then that happened in training. It’s things that happen in football.”
Partey and Jesus join long-term absentee Jurrien Timber on the sidelines ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Sheffield United and are also likely to miss the upcoming Premier League games against Newcastle and Burnley, as well as the Carabao Cup tie against West Ham and the Champions League return fixture at home to Sevilla.
Arteta on schedule: We’ll need more players
Image: William Saliba vies with Conor Gallagher against Chelsea
Arteta believes squad sizes will need to increase from their 26-player format, or teams will have to be allowed to make up to 10 substitutions to contend with the increasingly busy football calendar.
“We have three big players (missing), with Jurrien as well. One thing is to rotate the squad, another thing is to have the squad available to pick the right players to rotate them in the right moments.
“With the schedule we have, the amount of games that we have, it’s something we knew was going to happen. It’s happening to every club in the Premier League, so there is no difference.
“We try to manage every single thing, to control it, but there are things that are difficult and you have to accept that.”
Asked how he feels about the increasingly busy schedule, Arteta said: “We will need more players, there’s no secret.
“The players have a certain amount of energy, the battery lasts so long. If not, you will burn them. We will need more players if that’s the case and we will have to adapt.
“If we have more games, more competitiveness and physically the standards are high and we’re going to play more minutes, we have to do that or we have to, instead of five subs, have 10.
“Now, the five subs is something normal. But it was a big fight to go from three to five. I cannot imagine a game after the conditions we are in today, after the last year and the World Cup, that we didn’t have the five subs. It would be so difficult.
“So, if the calendar extends, for sure we have to think about ways of not dropping the quality and the only way to do it is for players to have certain availability and you need players to pick.
“The laws will change and probably our capacity to do things during games will change. We will have to adapt for sure.”