Arsenal and Man City's Champions League rivals suffer major injury blow during international break
One of Arsenal's Champions League rivals have suffered a massive injury blow to one of their key players.
and live on Freeview channel 276
One of Arsenal and Manchester City's Champions League rivals, Barcelona, have suffered a crippling injury blow, as Gavi was taken off the pitch during Spain's Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia.
Gavi jumped for the ball and landed awkwardly, damaging his knee in the process. He left the pitch in tears - while the extent of his injury is currently unknown, it is expected that he will be out of action for a considerable amount of time.
Despite being just 19 years of age, Gavi has been a star player at Barcelona for multiple seasons now. In the current campaign, he has made 15 appearances, scoring two goals and notching up a pair of assists.
On Gavi's injury, Spain manager Luis de la Fuente said: "This is the ugly part of football. This is the most bitter victory I have ever experienced in my life It is a very difficult moment for Gavi, Barcelona, the national team and for me - it seems as if we have lost the game. I am very sorry [for Gavi]. Let's wait for the tests to confirm the extent of the injury."
How will this affect Arsenal's chances in the Champions League?
Should Arsenal or Manchester City draw Barcelona in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, their chances will be bolstered by the absence of Gavi. He is a very creative midfielder - not only does he boast a passing completion rate of 90.4%, he has also completed 26 progressive carries this season [via FBref].
Without him, Barcelona's midfield won't be completely nullified, but they will not be able to play the ball around as seamlessly. He's also very adaptable, being able to function as an attacking midfielder and as a left winger. The Catalonian giants will lament the loss of Gavi for several reasons, but his ability to slot into multiple roles may be their biggest gripe.