Granit Xhaka faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines after hobbling off in Arsenal’s north London derby win over Tottenham.
The Swiss midfielder’s injury was a rare low point on what was an excellent afternoon for the Gunners, as they recorded a third straight win.
Xhaka went down after he clashed with Tottenham‘s Lucas Moura in the dying minutes.
On Monday he was analysed by medics at the Emirates and by club physios as they looked to determine the severity of the injury.
According to Swiss newspaper Blick the player has actually got off likely having ruptured inner ligaments in his right knee.
Worse case scenario would’ve been an ACL injury – the type that kept Virgil van Dijk out for the season last year.
Nevertheless it will keep him out for a lengthy period and Xhaka has been seen wearing a brace on his right leg.
His wife Leonita posted a picture on Instagram with their young daughter which showed him heavily strapped.
Who can Arteta call upon?
The Arsenal boss seemed to be fearing the worse immediately after the derby win.
He said in the aftermath: “Unfortunately he got [an] injury and I’m pretty worried. It doesn’t look very positive at the moment.”
Xhaka played at the base of midfield with Thomas Partey, but Arteta will now have to seek different solutions.
Depending on the opposition Arsenal could opt to play Partey as a sole holding midfielder, giving them more options in attack.
However against Norwich several weeks ago, a match the Gunners won 1-0, they played with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga as a two.
Maitland-Niles is known for his versatility and is keen for more minutes in his favoured central midfield role.
What’s up next for Arsenal?
If Xhaka is to miss near enough two months of football then several major fixtures will be impacted.
Arsenal have enjoyed a mini renaissance recently winning their last three league games.
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Sandwiched in between all that is an international break, which might actually prove advantageous for the Gunners as it assists with the rehab process and means Xhaka doesn’t miss club games.
The game at Anfield on November 20 may well be earmarked for the Swiss star’s return depending on the speed of his recovery.Internet Explorer Channel Network