Mikel Arteta explained why Ben White wasn’t in the matchday squad after his Arsenal side beat Burnley 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Dominant for much of the contest, the Gunners took the lead through Leandro Trossard on the stroke of half-time before William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko scored second-half goals after Josh Brownhill equalised for the visitors.
It was a productive outing for Arteta given Arsenal’s current injury woes, with White joining the club’s current list of concerns. The right-back has been a mainstay in the starting XI this season, but he wasn’t in the squad at all on Saturday as Takehiro Tomiyasu started in his absence.
Mikel Arteta explains Ben White’s absence vs Burnley
Speaking post-match, the boss said White had “some issues” after Wednesday night’s win over Sevilla, and believed it wasn’t worth risking the Englishman against Burnley.
“Yesterday in training he wasn’t comfortable. He didn’t look right” he said.
“Ben won’t give you much. He always wants to be on the pitch and he wants to hide anything that is in there.
“We highlighted something happening there which we noticed in the last two weeks as well.
“We wanted to protect him today. It was the right call from the physios and the medical department and tomorrow we will assess him and understand what’s happening,” Arteta added.
Tomiyasu and Bukayo Saka, other injury concerns from the midweek encounter, both started on Saturday with the latter teeing up Trossard for the opener. Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, Jurrien Timber, and Emile Smith Rowe are currently sidelined due to injuries.
Arteta’s comments would suggest that White hasn’t sustained a major problem, and you would think he would be fine for Arsenal’s next Premier League encounter away at Brentford after the international break. The boss will also soon want to return Odegaard and Jesus to the fold.