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Arsenal’s Jonas Idewohl was concerned about player workload following an injury to Beth Mead

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Arsenal head coach Jonas Idewal believes a heavy schedule can put top players at greater risk of injury.

Gunners forward Beth Mead tore her anterior cruciate ligament in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United and will be sidelined for an extended period.

Named player of the tournament following England’s victory at Euro 2022 and runner-up of the Ballon d’Or behind Spain’s Alexia Putelas, Mead is the latest in a long list of prominent female players with long-term injuries.

Idwal will miss half a dozen key players for Thursday’s Champions League group stage match against Juventus in Turin.

Asked if player fatigue had been a factor in Mead’s failure, Edewall said: “It’s definitely hard to answer because you don’t know all the variables.

“Player loading and fatigue is clearly something we constantly monitor and worry about.

“So if that was a factor it would have been obvious leading up to this game and we wouldn’t have fed him.

“But it can still happen, that’s what makes it so hard. If you look at the number of injuries, yes, I think the schedule of the Games, especially for players who play in tournaments, are more likely to get injured.

The Gunners’ streak of 14 wins in the Women’s Super League was halted by United on Saturday as the Idewoll side attempt a comeback against Juventus.

Former Arsenal coach Joe Montemurro is now in charge of the Turin Giants, who are two points behind the Londoners in Group C.

Edeval said: “They are a very competitive team. I think that Juventus, as a club in the Women’s Champions League, has consistently shown that in recent seasons.

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“They can compete with any team in Europe and are doing very well, so we have a lot of respect for them.

“We understand that and we are well aware of it. To get the results we want, we have to perform very well.”

Arsenal striker Katie McCabe said Mead, waiting a race to be fit in time for next summer’s World Cup final, was a “huge loss” for Arsenal.

The Republic of Ireland captain said: “For us as a team he will be a great loss, but we have a fantastic medical team around the club and they will do their best to get him back.”

“But yeah, huge loss. We are devastated for him, but he has a lot of support in our team and we will certainly rally around him.

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