Mikel Arteta revealed Ben White has been managing an injury throughout the season as he revealed his reasoning for leaving the right-back out of the Arsenal squad which beat Burnley 3-1 on Saturday.
The Gunners moved above rivals Tottenham into second in the Premier League as they won at the Emirates thanks to goals from Leandro Trossard, William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Takehiro Tomiyasu took White’s usual spot on the right of defence. Former Brighton defender White had started all of Arsenal‘s league games this season before Saturday afternoon.
Arteta didn’t reveal the specific problem but explained the coaching staff were keen to protect White from exacerbating any potential knock.
He said: “Yesterday [Friday] in training he wasn’t comfortable, he didn’t look right.
“But Ben won’t give you much. He always wants to be on the pitch and he wants to hide anything that is there.
“But we highlighted that we noticed in the last few weeks as well something happening there and we wanted to protect him today.
“It was the right call from the physios, the medical department, and tomorrow we will assess him and understand what’s happening.”
White wasn’t included in England’s squad for their final Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia and Arteta will hope he is fully fit once the November international break ends, with Arsenal visiting Brentford in their first game back later this month.
The 26-year-old started both the defeat at Newcastle and the Champions League victory over Sevilla in midweek.
Youngsters like Charles Sagoe Jr, Bradley Ibrahim and Reuell Walters were named on the Gunners’ bench on Saturday, with Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, and Gabriel Jesus among those not fit to feature.
Fabio Vieira was one of four substitutes Arteta called on but the Portuguese midfielder was sent off late on for a high challenge on Clarets midfielder Josh Brownhill.