With fixtures coming thick and fast, Arsenal are in need of a big squad.
UPDATE: Wenger gives updates on Mertesacker, Gabriel and Ramsey after Hull game
Unfortunately, we tend to have midfielders missing constantly: Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, and Tomas Rosicky remain injured at the moment and Francis Coquelin will serve a one-game suspension on Tuesday evening.
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil are playing every minute of every game at the moment, and the alternatives are Mathieu Flamini and Mohamed Elneny. The former isn’t really trusted by anyone, the latter performed well on Saturday but remains unproven and can’t be relied on to perform consistently so soon in his Arsenal career.
Well then, isn’t it lucky that Mikel Arteta is back in full training?
In all seriousness, Arteta is unlikely to start at all and may not even make the bench regularly, but it is refreshing to have another option and one with so much experience. Earlier in the campaign, he was helpful coming off the bench to settle the team’s nerves towards the end of games.
Wenger would be smart to keep Arteta in the squad where possible, as he has a superb ability for keeping the ball and buying fouls. With Arsenal’s mentality being questioned, it’s the perfect time to have the captain available for selection again.