Arsenal will be without Ben White for their lunchtime trip to Manchester City today…
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta delivered the fresh setback during his pre-game press conference. He said, via football.london:
“Well from COVID we still have Ben out, Alex Runarsson that has been out. The rest of the players that are missing – hopefully, because we are going to be testing today – are injuries and long term injuries that we don’t have them back yet,” he said.
The Spaniard later added:
“[White is] asymptomatic, he’s been feeling good. As quick as we can we’re going to bring him back to training and he’ll start to play games with us again.”
The north London outfit have got off to a disastrous start so far in 2021/22, having lost back-to-back matches against newly-promoted Brentford and local rivals Chelsea.
It’s not going to get any easier either as Arteta and his squad have to face the defending champions in their own backyard – a side that was able to spend £100m solely on Jack Grealish.
Pep Guardiola’s men bounced back from an opening day defeat by thrashing Norwich City 5-0 last weekend, so they will be buoyed by huge confidence heading into this encounter.
Against Chelsea, the Gunners’ backline was a complete shambles, particularly Pablo Mari, who was absolutely bullied by their new signing Romelu Lukaku.
“Mari was an embarrassment, he didn’t know what to do,” claimed Rio Ferdinand to his FIVE podcast. “The way they defended against him – where’s Per Mertesacker or someone like that who’s in the building? Please tell them what to do.”
Arsenal made a considerable investment in White, paying Brighton and Hove Albion around £50m, according to The Athletic, so to not have him available for a game like this, especially after their capitulation at Stamford Bridge, will surely leave Arteta hugely worried.
Gunners fans may well want to expect another drubbing here this afternoon.