Arsenal have already been dealt a significant blow heading into the 2021-22 Premier League season, with midfield lynchpin Thomas Partey reportedly expected to miss the first couple of weeks of the campaign through yet another injury.
The former Atletico Madrid man hobbled off in the Gunners' Mind Series defeat to Chelsea at the weekend - with Ruben Loftus-Cheek making the tackle which forced Partey to leave the field of play - and Mikel Arteta was immediately pessimistic about the Ghanaian's situation.
Recent reports have suggested that Partey will certainly be absent for Arsenal's opening two Premier League games of the season against Brentford and Chelsea, and it also remains to be seen if he will recover in time to face Manchester City at the end of August.
Ever since the glory days of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have become synonymous with injuries, and that curse appears to have been passed on to Partey, who was never known for spells on the sidelines while under contract at Atletico.
Over the course of seven years and 188 appearances, Partey would only spend a combined 29 days out of action during his time with Atletico, the first of which was a hamstring issue which plagued him between February and March 2016 before a minor strain in September 2019 through which he missed just one game.
The 28-year-old's stellar record on the injury front would soon be consigned to history after just one month at Arsenal, as he suffered a muscular injury in November 2020 during Aston Villa's 3-0 rout at the Emirates, therefore being forced to miss the goalless draw with Leeds United and a home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Partey shook off the issue in time to be fit for the North London derby, but he was clearly far from full fitness and trudged off the pitch as Tottenham Hotspur just began to launch a counter-attack, culminating in Harry Kane scoring and Partey being hooked at half time.
Another month on the sidelines would follow with that hip problem - during which he was absent for 10 Arsenal games in all competitions - and the luckless midfielder gave Gunners fans another painful but familiar sight against Aston Villa in February when he went down with a hamstring issue.
Partey managed to string a run of appearances together during the final knockings of the campaign, but with his latest ankle injury representing a fourth spell in the treatment room in the space of a year, alarm bells are surely ringing for a player who never had trouble staying fit in La Liga.