Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney picked up a knee injury during their 3-0 loss to Liverpool on Saturday and there are now fears that he could require surgery to repair the damage.
Arteta explained: “We have to first make sure that he doesn’t need any surgery, which it doesn’t look like. If that’s the case, the timeframe will be around [four to six weeks].
“It could have been worse because the action looks quite scary but he’s feeling better and the damage is not that bad. At the end of the day, it’s not the bad news that maybe we were expecting after the game.”
Whether Kieran Tierney requires surgery or not but he will not be available for Arsenal’s game vs Slavia Prague on Thursday and there have been hints that Mikel Arteta could use Bukayo Saka at left-back.
Saka might be playing on the right wing this season but last campaign, he played as many as 16 games at left-back during the 19/20 season. And on Thursday, the youngster could reprise the same role.
While Mikel Arteta did not give any positive feedback at using Bukayo Saka at left-back but he did accept to try and make adjustments.
He said in his pre-match press conference: “We’re going to have to make some adjustments because his qualities are unique and we don’t have anybody with his qualities within the squad unless we start to move a lot of pieces.
“Without any time to train, it is a little bit dangerous to do. But we’re going to have to find different ways to fulfil that gap and use other things that can be as effective as well.
“You have to change something and you have to find a different way of attacking.
“At the same time, the structure when you are defending and in transitional moments has to be stable and has to be done by players that are comfortable doing that. We knew that position was a weakness around the squad[last season], because we didn’t have anybody to replace Kieran, and we have to find different solutions.”
Bukayo Saka played at left-back last season because Mikel Arteta did not have too many alternatives but this time around, the manager has the option of using Cedric Soares in the left-hand side of defence.
Soares, though a right-back has played at left-back seven times this season so the 29-year-old is expected to replace Kieran Tierney in the starting line-up on Thursday.