Former Arsenal forward Ian Wright believes that the Gunners will feel the absence of Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, who has picked up a calf injury.
Tomiyasu suffered the injury during the Gunners' 2-1 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday (December 2). As a result, he missed Arsenal's trip to Kenilworth Road on Tuesday (December 5), where the Gunners defeated Luton Town 4-3.
After the match, Mikel Arteta revealed that Tomiyasu will be sidelined due to the injury for an indefinite period. He said (h/t GOAL):
"We had a scan, and it’s not good news. He’s [Tomiyasu] got an injury in his calf, and he’s going to be out for a while."
Wright has since claimed that the Gunners will miss the Japanese defender given his contributions at both ends of the pitch. He also showed confidence in Ben Whiteseriving as Tomiyasu's replacement, telling Premier League Productions (h/t HITC):
“It’s a shame [Tomiyasu's injury] because he is somebody who has come in and not only do we know what he can do one-v-one in stopping people attacking us.
“But his offensive play now. Knowing Saka is going to come inside him and him coming outside. Two assists the other day. He will be somebody who will be missed and unfortunately he has picked up an injury. I think Ben White is an adequate replacement.”
Tomiyasu signed a four-year deal with the Emirates outfit in 2021 after a reported £20 million move from Seria A side Bologna. Since joining the Gunners, he has made 72 appearances and has bagged a goal and six assists. Before this setback, he missed 27 games for club and country with calf and knee injuries since the start of 2022.
Arsenal are considering a move for teenager dubbed the 'next Thomas Muller' - Reports
According to Croatian outlet Slobodna Dalmacija (h/t the Sun), Arsenal are currently considering a move for Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukstas in the January transfer window.
The American midfielder has also been likened to Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller due to his versatility and playing positions. They both largely play in a midfield role which has popularly been termed the raumdeuter, or space invader, position.
Both players are smart in the way they operate in spaces despite not being the fastest or most creative. Pukstas joined Split's academy in the summer of 2021 from Barcelona's academy in the USA.
Moreover, the 19-year-old also apparently impressed scouts from several top European clubs after his side defeated AC Milan in last season's UEFA Youth League semi-final. He has also become a regular feature for his side, making 10 appearances this season, where he has scored thrice.
Pukstas also missed a bunch of games earlier this season due to a cruciate ligament strain, from which he has since recovered. The USA U20 international's contract expires in May 2027.