Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the decision to bring off Lucas Torreira at half-time against Crystal Palace was due to an injury problem.
The Gunners looked on course to secure three points on Saturday after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave them the lead after just 12 minutes.
However, things didn’t go to plan in the second half as while Jordan Ayew drew the hosts level, Aubameyang was given a straight red card for a dangerous tackle and so Arsenal were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
One decision that seemingly raised some eyebrows was Arteta bringing off Torreira at half-time despite a solid 45 minutes from the Uruguayan international, but the Spaniard revealed after the game that his tenacious midfield ace had picked up a muscle problem in the first half.
“Matteo was really good when he came on as well, but Lucas has been in good form. He’s given us a lot but I had to get him off because he wasn’t feeling good,” he told the club’s official site.
“It’s a muscle injury. We’ll have to assess it with the doctors tomorrow. We will know more the day after.”
At the moment, it is merely a concern for Arsenal as they could get the all clear from scans and tests tomorrow to suggest that it isn’t serious.
However, they’ll be desperately hoping that it doesn’t result in a spell on the sidelines for Torreira, such has been his impact in recent weeks after being named the club’s Player of the Month for December.
The north London giants face Sheffield United next weekend with games against Chelsea and then Bournemouth in the FA Cup to round off January, and so Torreira will no doubt have a big role to play as they look to stay in contention for a top-four Premier League finish and to win a trophy.