Thomas Partey Arsenal FC
Thomas Partey Arsenal FC

Thomas Partey and William Saliba are both recovering from injuries and one of them is going to miss out this weekend.

Arsenal will face Leeds United on Saturday and defender William Saliba is not going to be fit in time to face the Elland Road outfit, his manager has confirmed.

Saliba suffered a back injury during Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting CP and despite getting two weeks to recover, the centre-back is still not 100% fit.

“He is progressing but still has some discomfort in his back,” Arteta said at Friday’s pre-match press conference. “He’s not going to be fit for this game.

“We’re doing everything to get him back feeling better, but he is not ready yet.

“We’re very hopeful [he will return soon] and he is as well. Back injuries are tricky in terms of how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas.

“Let’s push it and see how he copes with that. He’s so willing to be back in the team. We’re very positive and pushing it every day, seeing how the pain develops.”

Saliba and Gabriel have been one of the standout defensive pairings in England this season so the former’s absence will be a big setback for Mikel Arteta. The Frenchman’s absence means Rob Holding will come into the side but because it’s Leeds United, Arsenal shouldn’t face too many issues.

Partey’s injury update is a lot more optimistic after he did not play against Angola as a precaution and was in line to miss out this weekend as well. However, Mikel Arteta is confident the midfielder will be named in the first XI.

“We’re positive about him. Hopefully he’ll be back,” Arteta told the press.

Thomas Partey has been another standout performer for Arsenal this season and his absence would perhaps be a bigger problem than Saliba’s injury.

The Gunners are really short in the midfield department and if Thomas Partey was to miss out then Jorginho will move up the pecking order. Even though the ex-Chelsea man has done pretty well since joining Arsenal in January but he will not even come close to Partey’s impact.