Football

Arsenal defender faces nervous wait over World Cup place amid muscular injury

Arsenal

Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu’s World Cup place is now uncertain after he picked up a muscular injury in the Europa League meeting with FC Zurich.

The full-back came on as a 73rd-minute substitute in Thursday evening’s game. But he was taken off just 15 minutes later after picking up the injury.

Arsenal to assess defender in next 48 hours

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed that Tomiyasu had felt something not long after coming onto the pitch. The defender had replaced Ben White at right-back to help see out the match, with Kieran Tierney having put the hosts 1-0 up.

But Tomiyasu was then forced off, replaced by fellow full-back Cedric Soares in the 88th minute. Tomiyasu has already been selected for the Japan World Cup squad.

As reported by the Dail Mail, Arteta was speaking about the Japan international after the match.

The manager said: “We don’t know. He has had a muscular issue and had to come off because we don’t want to take any risks.

“But we will assess him in the next 48 hours and decide what is best to do next.”

Disrupted Arsenal career for Tomiyasu so far

Tomiyasu arrived at Arsenal last summer and became an instant hit in north London. He was a regular at right-back, putting in several top displays at both ends of the pitch.

But it was soon brought to a halt by a calf injury. He was sidelined for a large chunk of the campaign due to the issue.
The right-back did, however, recover in time to be fit for the last few matches of the Premier League season.

In the current campaign, he had recently been filling in at left-back for the injured Oleksandr Zinchenko, at least in league action. The full-back was then being utilised at right-back in the Europa League.

Tomiyasu now looks set to miss the remaining Arsenal games before the World Cup. The Gunners have three matches left before the action gets underway in Qatar.

Arsenal face away meetings with both Chelsea and Wolves in the Premier League. They also have a League Cup third round match with Brighton to play.

That cup encounter takes place at the Emirates, and comes in between the remaining two league matches.

Arsenal

Gunners not short of talented full-backs

Fortunately for Arteta, Arsenal are certainly in no shortage of talented full-backs. It was one such player who came to the rescue for the Gunners on Thursday evening.

Left-back Tierney was on hand to score the only goal of the game against FC Zurich. The victory secured top spot in Group A of the Europa League for Arsenal.

The Scot has been forced to play second fiddle to Zinchenko for the majority of the season.

Speaking of Tierney after the match, Arteta said: “He was really good. Kieran has shown a real maturity and he has respect for certain decisions and he has not played a lot of minutes.

“He played very well today and scored a great goal that helped us win the game, and that is what we demand from all the players, to be ready when we need them to make a difference.”

Meanwhile at right-back, Ben White has been shining. He has been ahead of Tomiyasu in the pecking order in the new campaign.