Happy Wednesday folks. How we all doing?
A bit better than poor ol’ Tomiyasu, who the club confirmed yesterday had undergone surgery on his knee and he will be out for the season. Such a shame. Such a big blow to such a good player, but sadly we’re now in to the territory where we have to start thinking about whether we can rely on him longer term as an option. I listened to the ArsenalVision pod this week and they talked about the robustness and availability of Granit Xhaka. They talked about how whilst some have found him over the years to be frustrating, what you can’t argue is that he is not a player who isn’t always available. The old cliche rings true that the best ‘ability’ is ‘availability’ and I feel sorry for poor ol’ Tomi, because he is a quality player whose body just lets him down.
Sadly for him this isn’t a one off either. He missed the end of last season and the start of this season with a calf injury that meant he didn’t really have a pre season and as a result he wasn’t at full fitness when it all kicked off. Ben White came in to start at right back and never looked back, which restricted Tomiyasu to 11 starts in all competitions all season. It has meant he is no longer considered our best right back and sadly you have to look at this surgery now and wonder what will happen to him for next season, because if he’s just had knee surgery in March now, you’re probably talking about a minimum of six months out, which will take him to mid-to-late September before he’s back up and training again. Without a pre season that will mean it takes him longer to get up to speed, so then you’re probably not talking about seeing the best Tomi until November time at least I reckon. That’s fourth months – just under half – of next season.
We have seen how Arteta made moves to get another left back in because of the challenges KT has had with injury and now you can really understand why the club were so interested in Fresnada from Valladolid because the reality that we have to look at now is that Tomiyasu – as great a player as he is – probably can’t be looked at as a guy that Arteta can rely on for a season in which we will most likely have Champions League football. Tomiyasu is 24 years old and yet he has already missed:
- 12 games this season with his knee injury
- Nine games last season and the beginning of this with calf injury
- 10 games in 2020/21 with muscular problems and a calf injury for Bologna
- Eight games in 2019/20 with a hamstring injury and muscular injury for Bologna
That is, sadly, the mark of an injury prone player and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the club make some harsh decisions on bringing in a replacement in the summer. For now the concern is on who can cover for Ben White if he gets injured and whilst we can all cross our fingers given we only have one competition to play in, the reality is that whilst we’ve worried about Partey and his injury challenges all season, we now have an equally important player in Ben White that we all now need to stay fit. Perhaps we can play a Tierney or Saliba in there, perhaps Reiss Nelson could be given a go, but the reality is that whoever comes in if something happens to Ben White, we will be seeing a massive downgrade on the player who is first choice right now.
Which is why his omission from the England squad might just be the biggest boost for Arsenal that you could possibly get right now. If only Thomas Partey could fall out with his coach! Then we’d have two of our most important players with some time to rest up and recuperate before the intense final 10 game run in.
What we also now need to hope for is that Saliba’s injury isn’t as bad as had been reported by some of the French press, but I don’t suspect we’ll get an update on Wilo. His was a back injury that I suspect the club will just tell to rest up and see if he can get himself better for that Leeds game in 10 days time. At the time of it happening Arsenal reacted quickly to bring him off, Arteta seemed less worried about him than he did Tomiyasu after the Sporting match, plus at 21 you’d hope his body heals quicker, so I’m hoping that we get good news closer to the Leeds game. It’s true we could probably survive without him for that game at home to Leeds, but there’s no way we can expect too much from Holding up against the threat that Liverpool possess. So my hope is that at some stage – probably in a week’s time, we get some ‘Saliba in training’ pics that can put all of our minds at ease.
Just before I wrap up for today’s blog, a quick shout out to the Balogun interviews that he’s done over the last few days. I’ve kind of already said my piece over him and Eddie in a recent blog here so I won’t labour the point too much, but it’s a good video watch if you fancy it here on Sky Sports. There’s also a nice little article by Kaya Kaynak here after he recently sat down with him that is worth a quick read. Always worth digesting a bit of content about a player who has shaken things up in France and will cause really positive headaches for Arteta in the summer.
That’s all I gots for ya today, so have a good one, enjoy whatever it is you are doing with your Wednesday, then I’ll catch thee all tomorrow.
Have a good’un.
It’s okay, we’ve got Cedric.
What? We let him go on loan?
Oh well, Maitland-Niles it is then.
Why are you laughing?