Mikel Arteta to be without five first-team players for Leeds clash

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta, will be without five important players for their Premier League game against Leeds United on Sunday.

The London club are looking to bounce back from the 3-0 disappointing defeat at home to Aston Villa before the break. But the gunners will have to get all three points without Thomas Partey, Sead Kolasinac and Mohammed Elneny.

On Partey, an official statement revealed that, “Thomas was replaced at half time during the match against Aston Villa and has sustained a strain to his left thigh. Continues to be assessed, will not be available for this weekend’s match and will continue his rehabilitation.”

“I have to see him today, how he’s looking and how he’s feeling. He’s a 19-year-old kid whose played a lot of football in the past few months,” Arteta said on Saka.

“I understand from (England manager) Gareth Southgate’s point of view he had the injury of (Ben) Chilwell. He probably didn’t plan to give him that many minutes but the circumstances forced him to do it.”

Meanwhile, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli are just returning from long-term injuries.

With injuries a major concern for many teams, Arteta also joined the chorus of club managers asking for the Premier League to increase the number of substitutes to reduce player fatigue. But clubs in the English Football League (EFL) will now be permitted to make five substitutions.

“We have to protect (players) as much as possible, they are the protagonists in this industry,” the Spanish coach said.

“We have to modify the rules and make them a little more flexible to give them a better opportunity to be fit, physically and mentally. Let’s just do it, please.”

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