Crystal Palace’s head of sports medicine Zafar Iqbal set to join Arsenal

Arsenal are set to appoint Crystal Palace’s head of sports medicine Zafar Iqbal as their new head of medical services at the end of the season, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.

The Gunners lost former head of medical services Gary O’Driscoll in September after he left to become the head of sports medicine at Manchester United.

Florence Newton took over temporarily, with academy doctor Ges Steinbergs also assisting the first-team medical team.

Arsenal have now moved to hire an experienced hand, with Iqbal set to join the Gunners after serving a notice period.

The Palace doctor brings plenty of experience to the table having worked with the Eagles for more than eight years.

He also worked in the medical departments at Leyton Orient, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool and will bring his expertise on board at Arsenal.

The North Londoners have suffered several injury woes this term, with Thomas Partey, Fabio Vieira, Mohamed Elneny, Jurrien Timber and Takehiro Tomiyasu currently on the sidelines due to knocks.

Iqbal will be hoping to help most of the players stay fit and quickly recover from knocks anytime they are injured next term and going forward.

Arsenal and their Premier League rivals have been investing more in the fitness of their squads in recent seasons, and recruiting one of the best hands in the game after losing the highly-rated O’Driscoll will come as a huge boost.

The Gunners were keen on appointing the Premier League’s chief medical officer Mark Gillett as his replacement, but a move did not work out, and Iqbal has been identified and chosen to succeed O’Driscoll after months of searching.

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