September 26, 2022

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According to Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill, Arsenal loan defender Harry Clarke has suffered a shin injury and will be out for at least a few weeks.

The majority of Arsenal’s loanees played for their respective clubs on Saturday, with Harry Clarke being the lone exception.

Clarke was completely absent from Stoke City’s squad against Huddersfield Town this weekend, despite starting the first two games of the season and coming on as a substitute in the third.

This raised concerns about an injury problem, which Stoke manager Michael O’Neill confirmed following the game.

“Harry’s got a shin injury and will take a period of rest,” O’Neill said. “We’re not sure how long that will be as yet but I shouldn’t imagine we’ll see him for a number of weeks.”

When further questioned on whether the injury made the position an area for concern, O’Neill answered: “It is now.

“We have to look at that area of the pitch in terms of our options to play there.

“We don’t really have a natural right-back/wing-back at the club other than bringing Harry to the club so that’s something we’ll have to look at.”

The fear at Arsenal is that Stoke will sign a player who will compete with Clarke for starts once he returns to fitness.

As things stand, the defender is clearly the favorite to start whenever he becomes available, but that could change if Stoke enters the market again.

So the injury comes at an inconvenient time, but hopefully it isn’t serious and Stoke will opt to wait for his return rather than looking for a replacement.

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