Having been eliminated from the FA Cup in the third round, Arsenal fans have had to wait an extra two months to see their team in action. However, since the oldest cup tournament in the world is taking place over the weekend, all that is left to do is twiddle thumbs at the training camp in Dubai.
While a behind-closed-doors friendly with Reading is happening, everyone is looking forward to the Gunners’ trip to Molineux on February 10 to face Wolves in a crucial Premier League match.
Because of their efficiency and superb defensive record, they should be included in the top four race despite being just two points behind Mikel Arteta’s side on the standings. Furthermore, if they earn all three points on Thursday, they would leapfrog Arsenal in the league standings.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has not recovered from a calf injury in time to play Wolves. This is a major source of worry for Arsenal!!
With the roster having been reduced to only 21 players – including three goalkeepers – there is little room for mistake at this point in the season. Of course, this is just about injuries. The club is still keeping a close eye on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s health.
While worryingly absent from any training sessions in Dubai while recovering from a calf injury, Charles Watts has also announced he would not be part of the match against Reading on Saturday. Given the fragility of the team, even a single injury could be deadly. The right-back is high on the priority list of positions that need protecting.
Cedric Soares is just not Tomiyasu in any way, shape, or form. The drop-off is precipitous. Tomiyasu is the team’s main source of stability. With his two-footedness, he provides a foundation for Benjamin White to be more expressive. He virtually fulfils the roles of two players in defence. The Japanese international also provides diversity in the build-up. He is a key member of the team.
When facing the Wolves, it’s critical to remember that he’s also a destructive force in the air. Wolves have one of the best play-switchers in the league in Ruben Neves. Someone with Tomiyasu’s aerial dominance will assist to negate that route down his left flank. Cedric does not provide that kind of security and stability.
Immediately after the 0-0 draw with Burnley, Arteta said that Tomiyasu will be on the sidelines for a ‘few weeks. According to that timeframe, he should have fully recovered ahead of the Wolves game. But his absence from training images is cause for serious worry.
This is true for the whole season, not just for Wolves. It’s a nervous wait to see whether he is better or not? Only time will tell!!