Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that midfielder Dani Ceballos suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Vitória Guimarães.
The Spanish midfielder pulled up holding his thigh early in the second half. The Real Madrid loanee tried to continue for a few minutes, but was eventually forced off in the 54th minute, with Mattéo Guendouzi coming on to replace him.
Speaking after the game (via The Mirror), Emery confirmed that Ceballos did pick up an injury during the game, although he played down fears that it could be anything serious.
“We are going to wait for the analysis tomorrow but, at the beginning, I think it’s a small injury,” Emery insisted.
Ceballos is now a huge doubt for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Leicester City, but he will hopefully be able to use the international break to recover in time to face Southampton on 23 November.
Fortunately for Arsenal, they do have plenty of options in midfield to cope without Ceballos. The returning Mesut Özil could be relied upon to provide some creativity, while Joe Willock or Lucas Torreira may also be given the chance to impress.
Ceballos’ injury was just one part of a hugely frustrating evening for the Gunners. They were made to wait 80 minutes to open the scoring through Shkodran Mustafi, but a 91st minute equaliser from Vitória’s Bruno Duarte earned the Portuguese side a share of the spoils.
“The players worked and tried and we were very close to winning. In the last minute, they pushed a lot and they scored,” Emery added.
“The objective is to be first in the group and we are. At the end of the match, we’re thinking about Saturday and Leicester.
“We tried [to score] but also they are a very competitive team. We did better defensively. Offensively, this team are very organised and it’s not easy to have a lot of chances. It’s not good because we want to win but we are first, and this is our target.”
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