Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is facing an injury crisis ahead of their next match against Norwich City after Mohamed Elneny picked up an injury.
The defensive midfielder had been called up for international duty by Egypt ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifier against Gabon on Sunday.
That is despite the Gunners informing the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) that he had picked up a muscle injury prior to joining up with the squad.
Elneny was forced to miss the Pharaohs’ first match against Angola as he had to quarantine as part of the mandatory coronavirus requirements surrounding arrivals from red-listed countries.
Now, he will miss out on the chance to face his Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Gabon in Franceville.
A statement released via the EFA’s official Twitter account revealed that Arsenal contacted the national team’s medical staff to inform them that the midfielder sustained a muscle injury.
While initial reports suggested that Elneny came off injured during Arsenal’s behind-closed-doors friendly win over Brentford, the EFA say Arsenal told them Elneny suffered the injury while training.
Elneny was withdrawn in the 33rd minute in the 4-0 win on Wednesday, although football.london report that the move was just a precaution.
The 29-year-old had been linked with another move away from Arsenal after spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Besiktas.
Turkish Super Lig clubs are still able to sign players as their transfer window is yet to close in Turkey.
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But Elneny’s injury is likely to scupper his chances of sealing a move away from north London until January at least.
The news will also come as a blow for Arteta, who has been left short-handed by injuries and suspensions so far this season.
Granit Xhaka is banned following his red card against Manchester City, whilst Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey is yet to fully recover from his ankle injury.
Eddie Nketiah has also been ruled out with injury and missed the opening game of the season.
Summer signing Ben White has also been sidelined and the £50m man appears unlikely to feature against Norwich, with Elneny a doubt for the clash at the Emirates Stadium.
It could mean that a likely midfield pairing consisting of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard could be put out to face Norwich.
They are yet to score a goal in opening three matches, having suffered 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea.
A 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City last time out confirmed that their dismal start to the campaign is Arsenal’s worst in their 118-year history.
They face Norwich next, with Daniel Farke’s side also without a point so far, in what has quickly become a must-win game for Arteta’s men.