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Mikel Arteta insists size doesn’t matter as he defends the dwindling Arsenal squad despite Tierney and Partey injuries

MIKEL ARTETA defended his decision to put together a small Arsenal squad – despite coming back to bite his butt.

Gunners boss Arteta let six players go in January without signing a replacement.

Kieran Tierney is out for the rest of the season through injury

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Kieran Tierney is out for the rest of the season through injuryPhoto credit: Rex
Thomas Partey is also in doubt in the long term due to a thigh problem

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Thomas Partey is also in doubt in the long term due to a thigh problemPhoto credit: Getty

It left him with a roster of just 20 senior players.

But he will now be without left-back Kieran Tierney for the remainder of the season as he undergoes knee surgery.

Key midfielder Thomas Partey is also questionable in the long term with a hamstring injury.

Arteta said: “We haven’t had a great squad all season but we can’t look for excuses.

“We lost Kieran and Thomas and that was it.

“We’re going to keep trying with the players we have, like we’ve been doing since the start of the season.”

Arteta will pray that Takehiro Tomiyasu could finally be available for Saturday’s crucial home game against Brighton.

The Japanese defender has been absent since January with a calf injury but his availability would allow Cedric Soares to switch to left-back to cover for Tierney.

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Nuno Tavares played at Crystal Palace on Monday but was substituted at half-time as Arsenal lost 3-0.

That defeat leaves Arsenal in fifth place in the Premier League.

And playmaker Martin Odegaard admitted: “It was a terrible game from us from start to finish.

“We weren’t strong on the ball, didn’t win any duels and seemed slow.

“We have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to only have a small squad

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Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to only have a small squadPhoto credit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5059311/arsenal-injuries-squad-size-mikel-arteta/ Mikel Arteta insists size doesn’t matter as he defends the dwindling Arsenal squad despite Tierney and Partey injuries

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