Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night, and Mikel Arteta may also have a fresh injury concern after the encounter with Olympiacos.
It was a bitterly disappointing night for the Gunners as they couldn’t get the job done at home and eventually were eliminated after extra-time on away goals in their Europa League round-of-32 tie.
Shkodran Mustafi had to be replaced in the additional period, and Arteta has revealed that the German defender asked to be replaced as he has been handed a possible fresh injury setback, unless it was merely cramp that was hindering his experienced centre-half.
“I don’t know [how bad it is]. He said to me ‘I cannot play anymore’. I’m not sure if it was a cramp or a muscle injury. I am sure there will be a few of those [types of injuries] because players were exhausted, they played four times in 11 days and it was physically a very demanding game,” he told the club’s official site.
It remains to be seen if Mustafi will be available against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday night, as it will be a blow for Arsenal if he isn’t available given how heavily he’s featured under Arteta in recent times.
Any good news on his condition will be a boost given the huge blow of being knocked out of Europe, as that now puts the emphasis on Arsenal trying to secure a return to the Champions League through a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.