Arsenal fans received some terrible news this evening that both William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Saliba has been out of action since injuring his back against Sporting Lisbon. Zinchenko, on the other hand, apparently picked up a calf injury during our win over Newcastle United last weekend.
David Ornstein confirmed on The Athletic that both Saliba and Zinchenko will not play another game for Arsenal this season, but the good news is neither player requires surgery.
Mikel Arteta has three options at left-back after Oleksandr Zinchenko injury blow
The obvious choice: Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney has been Arsenal’s backup left-back all season and we all know how good he is. The Scotsman, when he’s fully fit, is one of the best in his position in the Premier League, and he will likely start against Brighton on Sunday.
However, it has to be said that Tierney struggles to play the role that Zinchenko usually does. The former Celtic man is more of an old-school full-back, and although he has improved his game massively, there is a slight drop-off when he’s asked to cut inside and play that Zinchenko role.
That may force Arteta to think of other options.
The versatile choice: Jakub Kiwior
Arsenal signed Jakub Kiwior to primarily be a central defender, but the Pole can play at left-back and in defensive midfield.
Kiwior has started the last two games as a centre-back and he has been brilliant in both. It makes little sense to push him to left-back now, but he is a lot more comfortable on the ball in central areas than Tierney is.
That could be the only reason why Arteta could use him in place of Zinchenko.
The Hale End choice: Lino Sousa
Lino Sousa is one of the most exciting players in Arsenal’s academy.
The 18-year-old is quick, good on the ball and excels in the forward areas. Many think he has a bright future ahead of him at left-back, and he could be a surprise option for Arteta now with Zinchenko ruled out.
Sousa could make the bench when Arsenal take on Brighton this Sunday.