Mikel Arteta admitted he’s “pretty worried” about a potential layoff for Granit Xhaka after he was forced from the field during Arsenal’s 3-1 derby win over Tottenham.
The midfielder was caught by a falling Lucas Moura following a Thomas Partey tackle and had to be assisted off the field by medics after a lengthy treatment on the pitch.
It took the shine off one of the most impressive results of his coach’s era at the Emirates Stadium – and now the Gunners boss fears that a lengthy spell out could be in store.
What has been said?
“I’m pretty worried because it doesn’t look very positive at the moment,” Arteta told his post-match press conference when asked about the severity of the Switzerland skipper’s injury.
On his side’s impressive revival, the Spaniard checked any expectations, but admitted he was thrilled by the result, adding: “That’s the beauty of this game and the danger of this game as well.
“It was one of the nicest feelings that I had certainly in this stadium. It was a big occasion for us, a big game, to win it the way we did and to feel that connection. It made it really special.”
Having first joined in 2016 from Borussia Monchengladbach, the 28-year-old has proven himself to be a central presence across a transitional era for Arsenal – and an anchor for their silverware.
As one of only three players who started both their 2017 and 2020 FA Cup final triumphs, Xhaka has proven a link between the Arsene Wenger era and that of his successors.
His position at the club has seemed somewhat conflicted on occasion, but before he was forced off Sunday, his performance showed just why the club handed him a new three-year deal this year.
The bigger picture
With no European football this term, Arteta at least will not see his players take part in the continental commitments that many of the Premier League’s big sides will face.
Instead, they will turn their attention towards starting October with a bang, with a trip to Brighton next on the agenda.
The Seagulls could well be at the summit come the pair’s meeting, with Graham Potter’s side having emerged as an early-season surprise package.