On Wednesday, Mikel Arteta gave a team news update on the injury and suspension status of a number of Arsenal players, ahead of the Sheffield United game this weekend.
On the injury front, Arsenal fans were particularly waiting for a team news update involving Lucas Torreira. The midfielder was in great form for the club, but he had to come off at half-time against Crystal Palace with a muscle injury.
Sead Kolasinac is also having trouble as a result of his own recent injury. The good news is Mikel Arteta says both were in training this week. The head coach is hoping they’ll make the squad against Sheffield United, but they’re clearly both doubts.
“The doctors are assessing [Sead] still – he had a normal session yesterday,” Arteta said. “He’s been in some discomfort, we know this season that he had some little niggles. We have to assess him and see if we can get him fit for Saturday or he will be out.
“It is something related to his hip, producing some pain in the muscle. He is a tough boy, he wants to train, he wants to play. Hopefully, he will be available for the weekend.
“It’s a very similar situation [with Torreira]. He trained yesterday as well, but still not 100 per cent confident so we will have to wait and see again.”
As for Hector Bellerin, who is closing in on a return from his hamstring setback, Arteta says things are going well, but a comeback isn’t quite on the cards just yet.
“Hector has been training with us for the past few days, he is looking much sharper, much better,” Arteta continued. “He needs a little chunk of training sessions before he is ready to compete but he is looking much better.”
After his red card against Crystal Palace, Aubameyang was certain to miss this match with suspension. The hope was that he might get a ban reduction, to stop him missing the Chelsea or Bournemouth games afterwards.
Unfortunately, Arteta confirmed that’s not going to happen.
“It has been confirmed that he is going to be suspended for three games,” said Arteta. “So we’re not going to have the player for the next three fixtures. It’s a big shame and a big loss for us, because as well we know Auba’s intention when he plays.”
Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers are still out long-term. Tyreece John-Jules, Emile Smith Rowe, Dejan Iliev and Konstantinos Mavropanos are all on loan, joining temporary new clubs in January.