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Arsenal To Be Without Star Player Against City

The 22-year-old is dealing with a back injury that has kept him out of Arsenal’s last five Premier League games, with the Gunners still waiting for their first clean sheet in his absence.Just how severe Saliba’s back issue is has been debated. Manager Mikel Arteta has previously confessed that things are not progressing as quickly as the club had expected, but there were still slim hopes that Saliba could be back in time for Wednesday’s likely title-decider.ButThe Athletic report that Saliba will not be back in time for that game and there are even fears that the Frenchman’s season may in fact be over.

Recent assessments of Saliba’s back have not shown the sort of progress doctors were expecting and he is expected to also miss the meeting with Chelsea on May 2.While Saliba’s injury is not thought to be particularly serious, the limited time until the end of the season could mean Arsenal are forced to see out the campaign without their defensive linchpin.In Saliba’s absence, Arteta has turned to Rob Holding to partner Gabriel Magalhaes, with January signing Jakub Kiwior playing just 14 minutes in the Premier League since Saliba was ruled out.The Gunners are already without right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu and midfielder Mohamed Elneny, whose seasons have been brought to an end through injury.Midfielder Granit Xhaka also missed the weekend’s draw with Southampton through illness but is not expected to be sidelined for much longer.

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