David Luiz injury leaves Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with few defensive options
The Gunners are also without Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Palbo Mari while Sokratis was left out of the Premier League and Europa League squads.
Arsenal lost David Luiz to a thigh injury early on in the second-half of their 1-0 Premier League defeat to Leicester on Sunday.
The Gunners are now without a number of central defensive options and here, the PA news agency takes a look at the players unavailable to manager Mikel Arteta.
Chambers has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last December. The 25-year-old limped off during the early stages of a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea following a seemingly innocous challenge but has been sidelined for 10 months. He is back in full training but will need time to get back up to speed and gain match fitness after such a lengthy spell on the treatment table.
After being linked with a move away during the summer, Holding actually started the season in the Arsenal side. That included starting the game at Manchester City on October 17, only for the former Bolton defender to suffer a hamstring strain during the warm-up and be replaced in the line-up by Luiz.
The club are hopeful to have Holding fit and available by the middle of November.
Luiz was the latest Arsenal defender to sustain an injury as he limped out of the Leicester game at the weekend. The 33-year-old had been developing a decent understanding with fellow Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes but a thigh issue forced him off with just four minutes of the second-half played. He was replaced by Shkodran Mustafi, only just back from a hamstring problem himself, and after the game Arteta said Luiz would undergo a scan in the coming days to ascertain the severity of his injury.
Signed on loan from Flamengo in January, Mari’s Arsenal career has yet to get up and running. He made just two appearances before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season and – after making his loan switch permanent – he was soon befallen by injury. An ankle issue saw him substituted in the defeat at Manchester City on June 17, the first game back after the season restarted, and he has not featured since – although he is nearing a comeback.
While he is not injured, Sokratis is unavailable to Arteta having been excluded from both Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squad lists. Mesut Ozil’s axing from those squads made more headlines but Sokratis is also absent – meaning he cannot play first-team football until at least January.
The Greece defender’s omission would not have raised too many eyebrows among Arsenal supporters but if Arteta’s backline is hit by any more injuries in the coming weeks, his absence will be noticed.