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Arsenal suffer major injury setback to Champions League hopes

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Arsenal have been dealt a major injury setback to their UEFA Champions League top four hopes…

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Gunners full-back Kieran Tierney has been ruled out until the end of the season in a major setback to the North London club’s hopes of finishing in the top four.

According to The Athletic, the Scottish international will have surgery later this week, and “is facing several months out”, which means there are doubts as to whether the 24-year-old will recover in time to play a part for the rest of the season and Scotland’s World Cup qualification play-off schedule for June.

Major blow for Mikel Arteta

The 24-year-old has indeed struggled with injuries throughout his promising career but had been enjoying an impressive season, starting Arsenal’s previous 14 Premier League games prior to Monday’s crushing defeat against Palace, helping them keep seven clean sheets in the process.

The £28.8m-rated defender previously hailed as a “warrior” by former Arsenal left-back and legend Ashley Cole on Sky Sports (via the Metro) had managed to register a goal and three assists during his impressive run in the side.

With the 5 foot 10 defender requiring surgery, it leaves Mikel Arteta having to rely on Nuno Tavares, the £7.2m summer signing who has struggled to impress on his two most recent starts, following a bright start to his Arsenal career before the turn of the year.

The £11.7m-rated left-back was hauled off before half-time during January’s FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest and hooked off after the break against Palace after he was at fault for their second goal, in which he was slammed by Jamie Carragher for his mistake.

According to SofaScore, Tavares has been given a fairly low average of 6.66, performing well below the standards of what’s expected.

The Lisbon-born defender has averaged 0.3 key passes per game, in comparison to Tierney’s 0.9. He’s also made an error leading to a goal this season, and has been dribbled past 0.1 times per game, whilst the Douglas-born defender has remained solid and unbeatable in that respect this term.

This suggests Nuno Tavares may not be up to the required standard to replace Tierney for the rest of the campaign, which ultimately could prove a major blow to Arteta’s top-four hopes.

As such, the Spaniard will be hugely worried about his team’s chances of securing a place in next season’s Champions League.

AND in other news, Arteta could repeat Odegaard masterclass in Arsenal swoop for “magical” £36m-rated gem

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