Arsenal double transfer call haunts Mikel Arteta after surprise injury statement | Football | Sport

Arsenal double transfer call haunts Mikel Arteta after surprise injury statement | Football | Sport

Arsenal have been stung by a groin injury to Thomas Partey and suddenly, their summer transfer business looks as though it could be subjected to criticism. The Ghanaian FA announced on Saturday that their midfielder had suffered an injury in training at London Colney and would therefore miss the upcoming international break.

A statement read: “He sustained a groin injury during training on Thursday, August 31, 2023. He is currently unavailable as club doctors predict he’s likely to be out for a couple of weeks.”

Interestingly, Partey has been filling in as a makeshift right-back in Arsenal’s opening three matches of the season but that is now set to change against Manchester United on Sunday.

That might be celebrated by Arsenal supporters who have been crying out for the return of Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back alongside William Saliba – meaning Ben White can shift back to right-back.

Nonetheless, the news that Partey has picked up a problem will have raised alarm bells, particularly as Kai Havertz continues to struggle with his period of adaptation in north London.

But now unless Mikel Arteta is prepared to call upon Jorginho regularly, Havertz might have to step up now in his role as an advanced No.8.

Declan Rice has been playing as a single pivot with Havertz and Martin Odegaard slightly ahead behind the front three.

Yet in truth, they have not looked effective at all and the trio have struggled to click into top gear although it remains early days.

However, with Partey now out of action Arsenal are starting to look very light on the ground in the middle of the park.

It begs the question whether Arsenal have made a mistake not strengthening with the signing of a second central midfielder after letting Granit Xhaka depart.

The Gunners were fortunate last season that both Xhaka and Partey were available for the crux of the campaign but this time around, they might not be so lucky.

Ghana’s statement suggests Partey will only be absent for a few weeks but there have already been suggestions he could be injured for several months.

Arsenal’s move to sign David Raya was certainly bold and now fans may suggest the club would have been better off investing that cash on another midfielder.

Albert Sambi Lokonga has joined Luton on loan and although there are other solutions within Arsenal’s squad, Rice is now going to have to carry the workload.

The decision to sell Rob Holding to Crystal Palace for just £4million without bringing in a replacement could also be subject to criticism.

With Jurrien Timber also injured, Arsenal are only a few more injuries away from being down to bare bones at the back.

That was evident last season when Holding was a regular starter in the final matches of the campaign when their title charge fell apart.

Arteta is adamant Havertz will come good but at this moment in time, you can’t help but wonder whether Arsenal would have benefited from strengthening in other departments.