Arsenal suffer William Saliba injury setback ahead of title showdown

Arsenal face Man City on Wednesday in a game that could decide the destination of the Premier League trophy

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Monday 24 April 2023 11:06 BST
Related video: Arsenal's William Saliba mistakenly thought Sean Dyche played for club

William Saliba is set to miss Arsenal's crunch title showdown at Manchester City on Wednesday and potentially the follow-up at Chelsea on Tuesday, with tests showing he hasn't recovered in time and could yet be out for the rest of the season.

The centre-half suffered a back injury during the Europa League last-16 elimination to Sporting Lisbon and it could yet prove one of the pivotal moments of the Premier League leaders’ season.

While Arsenal initially adapted to Saliba's absence with two consecutive victories, they have since conceded nine goals in three successive draws that have seen them just about hang on to top spot.

It only increases the immense importance of Wednesday's trip to City, but that without a player who has arguably become Mikel Arteta's most crucial this season. That isn't just down to the 22-year-old's ability but also a relative paucity of options in the area, reflecting the manager's smaller squad. It is also something of an irony given that Saliba went into the season without his place in the team clear and looking for assurances.

Now, he is of huge importance to Arsenal's future, and they do not want to risk him for even games of such magnitude. There is understood to be an awareness that the nature of the injury could mean playing or rushing back does further damage.

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