And just like that, Arsenal are once again the walking wounded. The headliner is Pablo Mari, who sustained a serious ankle ligament/tendon injury against Manchester City. He may need surgery and is done for the season, according to David Ornstein. Mari played just over 200 minutes for the Arsenal first team. The centerback’s loan from Flamengo contained an option for Arsenal to buy, but the lack of meaningful minutes coupled with the financial strain caused by the shutdown will make that decision exceedingly difficult.
Granit Xhaka, who left the match against City inside ten minutes with an ankle injury, “may return before the campaign ends.” Sokratis’ injury was picked up early this week in training and is understood to be a day-to-day, small knock. His status for for Sunday’s match against Brighton is yet to be determined. Lucas Torreira has been back in training for a bit now and may be available this weekend. If not, he’ll return soon after.
Injuries are a part of the game — there was likely to be an increase in the number of injuries with the quick return to play. But man, Arsenal just have the worst luck. They get a chance to see what they’ve got with Pablo Mari before they have to make a call on the option to buy and boom, he’s out for the season. Xhaka and Torreira play the same position and are both out, leaving the squad thin at the base of the midfield.
Of real concern is Arsenal’s centerback depth. In the last two days, Arsenal have lost Sokratis to a knock, David Luiz to suspension, and Pablo Mari to a serious injury. Don’t forget that Calum Chambers tore his ACL earlier this season right as he was hitting a run of form. The club have one fully fit centerback — Shkodran Mustafi. The next man up is Rob Holding who, for whatever reason, wasn’t able to get into the side even with Sokratis scratched late and Luiz in the middle of a contract issue that it seems everybody at the club knew was messing with his focus.
No worries though, the club only have a match basically every 3.5 days through the end of the season. We could be in for a very long, frustrating ride.