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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta voices concern over ACL injuries

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has sounded the alarm bells for player welfare following another injury blow early in the season. 

New signing Jurrien Timber has been added to the list of sidelined stars, igniting concerns over the gruelling demands of the football calendar.

Timber’s case is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to his right knee that threatens to relegate him to the sidelines for most of the 2023/24 season. 

However, Timber is just one name among several stars who have suffered long-term injuries barely two weeks into the new season.

Manchester City’s midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne is out for four months due to a hamstring issue. Aston Villa duo Emiliano Buendía and Tyrone Mings have both suffered ACL injuries.

David Silva has bid goodbye to the game after his career was cut short by an ACL injury. Real Madrid pair Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao are out with the same issue. 

Arteta warned that the schedule puts too much pressure on the players when asked about the many long-term injuries to these stars.

Arteta said (via Arsenal’s official website): “There is something there. You can say there have been games in the past, and there have been tours as well, but the games plus the tours plus the World Cup in December plus this plus this, plus internationals. 

“It is a lot. It is too much for the players. It’s incredibly demanding. When you see the next 36 months of the calendar for those players, it’s just better not to look at it.

“We need to look after them, but as a club, when do you look after them? To prioritise other competitions, and then we are the ones who look after them. 

“So we really need to be sitting down, but it’s already too late, at least for the next 36 months. I don’t know who needs to raise a voice here, but there are worries – big worries on that.

Arteta is not alone in his worries. Manchester United defender Raphael Varane took to social media to voice his dismay over the newly introduced rules and schedule for the current season. 

His grievances stem from the unrelenting deluge of matches and the resultant strain on the physical and mental wellbeing of the players.

Arteta’s concerns and Varane’s comments serve as reminders that while the allure of football is irresistible, the welfare of its stars must not be sacrificed.

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