Crystal Palace starlet Eberechi Eze could be out until the new year after suffering a serious Achilles injury in training.
The spritely attacking midfielder has enjoyed a promising first Premier League campaign since signing from Queens Park Rangers last summer. Eze has scored four goals and provided six assists in a defensive team, only missing a handful of games for the Eagles all year.
Roy Hodgson did not discuss the issue at length in his pre-match press conference, with the majority of the questions focussing on his imminent departure from Selhurst Park. However, he did concede that Eze was unlikely to feature against the Gunners.
The player will visit a specialist on Wednesday to assess the extent of the problem. The worst case scenario would see Eze miss a significant chunk of next season, which would be a massive blow to Palace – who see him as a key cog in their wheel alongside Wilfried Zaha.
The Eagles have more than 10 first team players out of contract in the summer, including Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Benteke, Joel Ward and Andros Townsend, and they have the oldest team in the Premier League. Eze is one of the only first team players under the age of 28.
The future of talisman and top scorer Zaha is also unclear. The Ivorian harbours ambitions of moving to a Champions League club and at the age of 28, he knows time is running out to realise his dream.
Whoever takes over from Hodgson in the summer – Frank Lampard, Steve Cooper and Sean Dyche have all been linked – faces a tough task to keep the Eagles competitive next season.