Arsenal are enjoying a much-needed, albeit equally not welcome, break from action this midweek with FA Cup action taking place. For injury-ravaged Kieran Tierney that’s time for necessary recuperation time as the Gunners find out the extent of his injury issues.
While the Scot has only missed six Premier League matches this season through a variety of niggles, they come off the back of a career riddled with a panoply of setbacks ranging from dislocated shoulders to hernia problems.
Many of his problems are down to rotten bad luck. Being labelled with the tag of ‘Weetabix hips’ from his time at Celtic, however, confirms that they’re not all fluke occurrences.
Leeds come up on Sunday in a vital match for Arsenal to rediscover some form heading into defining Europa League fixtures and the final Premier League run-in, matches that call for the best players available to be starting.
Arsenal learn the extent of Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey injury problems after worrying trend of setbacks
Putting the problem down to fatigue as opposed to any greater concern, the expected time sidelined for the 23-year-old is not long-term. Depending on how the week progresses he could be back in time to face Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Sunday. The same applies for Thomas Partey, who football.london say is also in contention for that clash, with his thigh problem ‘not serious’.
Mikel Arteta has already touched on the idea this season that Tierney is the victim of his own downfall. Lung-bursting charges up and down the left flank from the first whistle to the last are a large part of the reason he is so adored by the fanbase. That all-action style has become a crucial element in the Gunners’ style, with his natural width and superb crossing ability sorely missed in recent fixtures.
For someone who isn’t left-footed and rarely features on that flank, Cedric has performed his task as admirably as he could. His obvious limitations have been eased by some determined displays, but the drawbacks remain.
Still training during the period he’s been out, although not to the full extent, may be a blessing in disguise. Benfica over two legs are now the biggest matches this season and if Tierney and Partey are fit for those Arsenal unquestionably stand a greater chance of qualification. Add to that some grueling league fixtures and Tierney’s return coupled with Partey fears eased will be warmly received.