Mathieu Debuchy, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby all played actual football this week.
Returning to first-team training after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the trio could be set to take up a place on the bench against Liverpool on Saturday.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Arsene Wenger replied “I don’t know, I haven’t decided,” when asked if the trio would be involved. Anyone who knows anything about Arsenal and Arsene knows that if they weren’t available he would have ruled them out completely.
“They were all involved on Tuesday and it went well. They’ve no problem after that coming out of the game,” he continued. “They are back available in training, a bit short still of top competitive level certainly but that’s normal. They’ve been out for a long time but I was quite surprised by how fit they looked and the quality of their performance – it was good.”
With only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain definitely ruled out, it is an almost unprecedented situation for the manager who has nearly an entire squad to pick from.
A doubt still hangs over Danny Welbeck, who returned from international duty with a tweaked knee and faces a late fitness test which, in itself is a mini-miracle – that sort of international injury usually renders an Arsenal player incapacitated for 12 months.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is still out and not available and Danny Welbeck came back from England with a slight knee injury. It looks like he has a little chance to be available for Saturday still,” added Wenger.
“You want everybody available and back in the final months to compete at the top level. The consistency will play a big part in the success of the team and having everybody available can help.”