Arteta Advocates for Larger Squads as Arsenal Faces Twin Injury Setback

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suggests increasing Premier League squad sizes after injuries to key players Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey. Jesus suffered a suspected hamstring injury, while Partey has a muscle injury. Arteta believes larger squads would help manage the demands of an extended calendar and higher physical standards. He also considers the possibility of having more substitutes per match. Arsenal, currently third in the league, face Sheffield United in their next game.

Mikel Arteta Urges Premier League to Consider Squad Size Increase

Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has urged the Premier League to consider expanding squad sizes, citing the recent injuries to key players Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey. Jesus, 26, sustained a suspected hamstring injury during a Champions League match against Sevilla, while 30-year-old Partey is sidelined with a muscle injury.


Arteta expressed his concern, stating, “The scan shows that there is a muscle injury (for Jesus) and we might lose him for a few weeks again. With Gabby, I cannot give you any timeframe because he always surprises us, but there is something there. He felt it in a really awkward action and it’s true he’s had quite a lot of load in the last few weeks... That’s really bad news for us.”

Regarding Partey, Arteta revealed that the club is still assessing the extent of his injury. “He has more tests today but he picked up that injury in a training session with the last kick of the ball before Sevilla, so very unfortunate,” he added.

Arteta emphasized that increasing squad sizes beyond the current limit of 25 players could alleviate the strain on athletes, particularly in the face of a packed schedule. Starting next season, Champions League qualifiers will compete in a minimum of eight matches, and by 2025, an expanded 32-team Club World Cup will be introduced.

“If we have more games, more competitiveness and physically the standards are higher... we have to do that (increase the squad size) or instead of five subs, we have 10,” Arteta proposed. He noted that the shift from three to five substitutes per match was a significant milestone, and he couldn't imagine the current state of the game without this allowance.

Arteta concluded, “If the calendar extends, for sure we would have to think of not dropping the quality. The only way to do it is players have to have certain availability and you need players to pick.”

Arsenal, currently third in the Premier League, face Sheffield United in their upcoming match. The unbeaten Gunners, last season’s runners-up, trail league leaders Tottenham by just two points after nine matches.

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