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Mikel Arteta calls for patience after Kieran Tierney injury

Mikel Arteta calls for patience after Kieran Tierney injury
© Reuters
The full-back was forced off in the first half of Saturday's 3-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta is unable to assure Arsenal supporters that Kieran Tierney will play for the club again this season.

The full-back was forced off in the first half of Saturday's 3-0 home Premier League defeat by Liverpool.

Arsenal confirmed on Wednesday that Tierney suffered knee ligament damage during the game and could be sidelined for the next six weeks.

If that is the case, Tierney could return for the final league game of the season at home to Brighton on May 23 – with the Europa League final taking place three days later.

Tierney suffered knee ligament damage in the first-half of the defeat to Liverpool.
Tierney suffered knee ligament damage in the first half of the defeat by Liverpool (Julian Finney/PA)

But, speaking ahead of their Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with Slavia Prague, Arteta was keen not to make promises about when Tierney could come back into the fold.

"We have to first make sure that he doesn't need any surgery, which it doesn't look like," he said.

"If that's the case, the time frame will be around that (six weeks). It could have been worse because the action looks quite scary but he's feeling better and the damage is not that bad.

"At the end of the day, it's not the bad news that maybe we were expecting after the game."

Asked if Tierney will play again this season, Arteta replied: "I don't know, we're going to have to go day by day to see how Kieran is feeling, how he is reacting.

"When we get close to playing time and training with the team, depending where we are and how he's feeling, we'll make a decision."

Arteta also stopped short of confirming whether he felt Tierney would be fit for Scotland's Euro 2020 campaign, adding: "Again, it will depend on how things evolve in the next few weeks.

"He's so keen to play for us before the end of the season and he's extremely keen to represent his country in the Euros."

Tierney has been a pivotal part of Arteta's side and his absence is likely to be missed, with the Gunners boss conceding he may have to change the approach of his team to counteract the absence of the 23-year-old.

"We're going to have to make some adjustments because his qualities are unique and we don't have anybody with his qualities within the squad unless we start to move a lot of pieces," he said.

"Without any time to train, it is a little bit dangerous to do. But we're going to have to find different ways to fulfil that gap and use other things that can be as effective as well."

Arteta was unhappy with the performance of his players as they were outclassed in the weekend loss to Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were critical of Arsenal's display against Liverpool.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were critical of Arsenal's display against Liverpool (Richard Sellers/PA)

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville tore into Arsenal during Monday Night Football claiming they had players who "looked like a little mafia" and there "was a disconnect with them and the manager".

"No response," replied Arteta when Neville's comments were put to him.

"I think we have to respect every opinion and when there is criticism coming after the way we played against Liverpool, we have to take it on the chin because it's fully deserved for the way that we played.

"It's no time to respond, it's time to talk on the pitch and show what we can do. When we are at full gas, that is a lot.

"I don't read or listen. Obviously, I need to be aware of what has been said. The only thing I'm saying is where there is the one from Gary or Jamie (Carragher) or whoever is talking about us, after the performance that we had against Liverpool we have to be mute and we have to perform.

"That is the only thing that we have to do."

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Kieran Tierney limps off injured during Arsenal's game against Liverpool in the Premier League on April 3, 2021
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Kieran Tierney out for up to six weeks with knee problem
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