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Arsenal fear key man will miss both legs of Europa League tie

Kieran Tierney, Arsenal
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Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final tie with Slavia Prague, Tierney could be at risk of a long spell on the sidelines.

Kieran Tierney is at risk of missing both legs of Arsenal’s upcoming Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague.

The former Celtic full-back sustained a knee injury in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool. Tierney limped off the pitch before half-time and manager Mikel Arteta conceded he faces a spell on the sidelines but wasn’t sure for how long.

According to Evening Standard, Arsenal fear Tierney will be out of action for the next few weeks. The club’s medical staff are still evaluating him, but it seems Arteta is already resigned to losing him.

Should Arsenal’s initial fears over Tierney prove correct, he’ll miss Thursday’s first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague in London and next week’s return leg in the Czech Republic.

Who could replace Tierney?

The 23-year-old has become a prominent member of Arsenal since his €27m arrival from Celtic in 2019 and is tipped as a future captain. He is also the club’s only out-and-out left-back.

Tierney’s potential absence, therefore, will be a tremendous blow for Arteta. The Gunners boss will probably resort to using right-back Cedric Soares as cover for the Slavia Prague.

Another option could be Bukayo Saka, who impressed as a left-back last season. The 19-year-old, however, is a doubt for Thursday, along with Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka, and has played in right-wing mostly this season.

Brazilian center-back David Luiz, meanwhile, faces a four-week stint out with a knee problem.