Arsenal have suffered a major blow after it emerged that midfielder Mohamed Elneny sustained a significant injury in Saturday’s win over Fulham.
The 30-year-old Egypt international is understood to have picked up the problem during his side’s 2-1 victory but completed the full match. It was not until later that the problem became apparent.
Although Arsenal and Elneny are believed to be awaiting the full extent, initial indications suggest he is expected to be sidelined for a substantial period.
With Thomas Partey also absent, albeit with what is said to be a relatively minor muscular issue, Arsenal now find themselves light in central midfield.
The loss of Elneny could have implications for Arsenal’s transfer plans in what remains of the window. The club had previously been focused on signing a new wide forward, with Pedro Neto the top target but highly unlikely to be sold by Wolverhampton Wanderers. Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhalo Mudryk is also among their candidates.
Elneny’s setback may see Arsenal pivot to pursue a recruit in his area of the pitch. It is thought financial considerations would make it difficult to buy both a winger and a midfielder in the coming days.
Arsenal are not likely to go for a short-term fix, especially as they already have Albert Sambi Lokonga, who can play as the deepest midfielder.
If the north London side are to make any additions between now and Thursday’s deadline, they intend for it to be someone who fits with the wider recruitment plan and squad-building strategy.