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Premier League: Ronald Koeman says loss of Morgan Schneiderlin is a blow for Southampton

Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin (left) and Manchester City's Fernandinho
Image: Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin (left) and Manchester City's Fernandinho

Ronald Koeman admits Southampton’s trip to Arsenal on Wednesday night has been made more difficult by the absence of "key player" Morgan Schneiderlin.

Saints’ midfield lynchpin limped out of Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City at half time.

He now needs a scan on his right adductor, with manager Koeman admitting he does not know the severity of the problem.

"Morgan's not ready for Wednesday because he needs a scan on his adductor, in his right leg, to find out exactly what happened," he said.

"It's too soon to know whether it's serious. It's not too soon to say he can't play on Wednesday, but how long he will be out I don't know."


Belgium centre-back Toby Alderweireld stepped up into the holding role in Schneiderlin's absence on Sunday, and could do the same again at the Emirates.

Koeman said fit-again Jack Cork will also bolster his midfield options, while conceding Saints do not have the squad strength of their top-four Premier League rivals.

Reigning champions City leapfrogged Southampton into second place on Sunday, thanks to goals from Yaya Toure, Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy.

Koeman's side now face Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea amid a pivotal run of seven matches in 25 days in December.

Koeman has told his squad they "can't do anything" about Schneiderlin's injury, so must simply stiffen their resolve for a huge test at Arsenal.


"I think Toby Alderweireld did a great job in the midfield position, and the change was because that's our way of playing and I didn't like to change it," she said. "I didn't have more options to do anything else.

"We know exactly what Morgan means for our team. He's one of our key players and if you miss a key player it's always difficult for the rest of the team. We know that and we can't do anything about that.

"More options mean another midfield player. Jack Cork was not available on Sunday, he will be on Wednesday and we have Harry Reed as a young midfield player.

"Still James Ward-Prowse is injured, and that's our possibilities. We don't have the bench and we don't have that same number of players as the big teams, we know that."

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