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McCabe 'devastated' for stricken Mead but insists Arsenal will rally round injured star

Katie McCabe admitted Beth Mead will be a "massive loss" to Arsenal after news the forward suffered an ACL injury and will be out for an 'extended' spell on the sidelines.

Ireland's McCabe was on the pitch during Arsenal's 3-2 defeat by Manchester United at the weekend when Mead suffered the injury after landing awkwardly when challenging for the ball on the touchline. She is now expected to be out for the foreseeable future, possibly the rest of the domestic season, in a big blow to the Gunners' title ambitions.

And McCabe admitted ahead of Arsenal's UEFA Women's Champions League clash with Juventus that Mead's absence is a huge loss to the team. But the Republic of Ireland skipper insisted that she and her teammates would "rally around" Mead, who won Player of the Tournament at Euro 2022 last summer.

"Look, obviously it is devastating for her (Beth)," she said. "It is sad news. Coming off the pitch with an injury like that is awful.

"She has been so important to us over the last few years and was on a real high this season before that, in terms of her personal achievements at the Euros, then starting the season so well for us.

"She is going to be a massive loss. But we've got a fantastic medical team at this club, and they will be doing their utmost to try and get her back.

Arsenal's Beth Mead being treated by team doctor and physiotherapists after suffering her ACL injury against Manchester United. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

"I'm devastated for her, it's such a massive injury. But she has great support in this team, and we'll be rallying around her throughout for sure."

The Gunners' first match without Mead sees them travel to Turin for a huge Champions League test against Juventus, managed by ex-Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro. Arsenal's back-to-back European successes over defending champions Lyon (5-1) and Zurich (3-1) have sent them to the top of Group C.

With the Italians sitting second on four points, it is nicely set up for what should be a thrilling encounter at the Allianz Stadium. And McCabe, who broke through as a left-back under Montemurro, said she is expecting a tough test.

"It'll be nice to see Joe (Montemurro) again," she added. "I've not seen him since he left the club a few years ago. It is no secret I have the utmost respect for Joe. He really helped me grow as a player.

"He likes his team to play football, he is really passionate about the game and having looked at Juventus, and how good they've been the last few years, it will be a really difficult game against them. He was a big part of my career, for sure.

"We have looked at Juventus' previous games, and we know they love to play football - that is his style of play. He loves technical ability within the team.

"So it'll be a massive test. They had a great result against Lyon, so we need to do our utmost to keep them at bay."

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