Leandro Trossard injury: Arsenal forward woes deepen as January signing limps off against Bournemouth

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal’s attacking injury worries deepened after Leandro Trossard was forced off in the first half of their Premier League meeting with Bournemouth.

The Belgian winger, playing as a makeshift forward again at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, was replaced by Emile Smith Rowe after only 22 minutes of a key top-flight clash due to a knock that left him in some discomfort and ultimately unable to continue.

Manager Mikel Arteta reacted to that latest blow by moving Gabriel Martinelli inside to play through the middle and putting Smith Rowe out left, with Bukayo Saka on the other flank.

The loss of Trossard is far from ideal for Arsenal, who remain without first-choice striker Gabriel Jesus as he continues to work his way back from knee surgery received after the World Cup in December. The Brazilian is likely still a few weeks away from returning to action.

Jesus’ deputy Eddie Nketiah was also absent for the visit of Bournemouth due to an issue that restricted him to a late cameo off the bench against Everton in midweek - a thumping 4-0 win in which Trossard impressed as a central forward. He also performed that role in the 1-0 win over Leicester having proven dangerous off the left against Aston Villa.

Injury blow: Leandro Trossard was forced off early in Arsenal’s game against Bournemouth (Getty Images)
Injury blow: Leandro Trossard was forced off early in Arsenal’s game against Bournemouth (Getty Images)

Arteta will be hoping that the former Brighton star is able to return quickly, having shone since his £26million January transfer from the Amex.

Arsenal - also expected to be without Mohamed Elneny for the remainder of the season with a serious knee issue - were trying to get back on level terms against Bournemouth after visiting midfielder Philip Billing stunned the Emirates with the second fastest-goal in Premier League history after just 9.11 seconds. Only Shane Long has ever netted in quicker fashion, in 7.69 seconds for Southampton against Watford back in 2019.

Earlier in the lunchtime kick-off, Manchester City trimmed Arsenal’s lead at the league summit back down to two points after a 2-0 win over Newcastle that saw a goal in each half from man of the match Phil Foden and substitute Bernardo Silva.

After facing Bournemouth, Arsenal travel to Portugal to meet Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday evening, with the return fixture seven days later sandwiched between top-flight London derbies against Fulham and Crystal Palace.