Mikel Arteta has reassured supporters over the fitness of star centre-back Ben White, confirming the former Brighton man was substituted because he felt unwell during the Carabao Cup victory over Leeds United on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old left the field of play on 55 minutes and it was his replacement Calum Chambers who broke the deadlock seconds later. Eddie Nketiah completed the 2-0 win for the Gunners on 69 minutes, sending the north London side into the quarter-finals of the competition.
Speaking at the final whistle, coach Arteta admitted he was delighted by his team’s ‘very good performance,’ while putting to rest any fears over the possibility of a long-term absence for White.
“A really good performance over a team where the manager in every action is so committed,” Arteta began.
“We understood the game and what we had to do, we did this the right way. They gave us some issues, they always do, but we created a lot of shots and situations without being very clinical, we adjusted a few things at half time and we were better and stronger.
“With Ben and with some others, he had a bug, so he wasn’t feeling great.
“I think something happened around here, he wasn’t feeling great in the second half and we decided to take him off.”
The Spaniard was also quick to laud the players who stepped in on Tuesday to provide some tough competition for the regular starters, urging them to continue Arsenal’s winning run.
“We had some strong individual performances. They deserved the opportunity and grabbed it. We have hunger and desire and players willing to work, we need to carry on with this run and win more matches.”
Arteta also discussed the fitness of star duo Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney, who missed the clash with Leeds in midweek.
The Arsenal boss did give hope of a possible return for the weekend clash with Leicester City, adding: “They are both out with two different injuries. They tried yesterday but they didn’t feel great. Hopefully in the next few days they can feel better and be available for Leicester.”