Following the horrific injury suffered by Bern Leno in Arsenal’s shock 2-1 loss to Brighton on Saturday, manager Mikel Arteta says it remains unclear what the extent of the injury is.
The goalkeeper went down clutching his knee after landing awkwardly following a nudge by the Brightons’ match-winner Neal Maupay, and he gesticulated furiously towards the French forward as he was carried off.
There are fears that Leno could now miss the rest of the season, but speaking to BT Sport after the game, Arteta said it was too early to tell how serious the injury is, while he refused to be drawn into blaming Maupay for the damage.
“It doesn’t look good but we don’t know anything yet,” he said. “It is too far from me, I haven’t seen the actions. I always believe players don’t have intentions to injure people and I am sure he did not intend to do that.”
The Gunners’ defeat sees their hopes of qualifying for Europe take a potential hammer blow, but Arteta says he is focused on preparing his players for their next game against Southampton on Thursday.
“A very difficult one to take,” he added. “It is unacceptable in the way we lost the game. The fact we missed so many chances, the fact we gave them a goal and we did not compete for the second goal.”
“We have to try to lift the players. There’s a lot of things they have done really well but we don’t compete. At this level you cannot give those sort of goals away.
“This is the challenge we all have at the football club, to rebuild to something that is worth the club we are representing.
“I just worry about tomorrow and lifting the players and winning the next football game.”