Shkodran Mustafi joined the Arsenal travelling group heading to Vienna for their Europa League clash on Thursday, after recovering from his hamstring problem.

LUTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal at Luton Airport on October 21, 2020 in Luton, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
LUTON, ENGLAND: (L-R) Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal at Luton Airport on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal posted a few pictures of their players preparing to board a plane to Vienna on Wednesday, with the rather surprising addition of Shkodran Mustafi.

We already knew the German centre-back was closing in on a return from injury, but it looked like Thursday’s game would come slightly too soon. However, the fact that he’s travelling suggests he’s closer to a comeback than we realised.

Among others in pictures travelling to Vienna were Eddie Nketiah, Thomas Partey, RĂșnar Alex RĂșnarsson, Mohamed Elneny, Sead Kolasinac, David Luiz and Joe Willock. That’s far from an extensive squad list, but it’s all we have at the time of writing.

It’s great to see Partey involved, of course. It’s very possible he gets his first Arsenal start in the Europa League group stage opener. We’re still waiting on RĂșnarsson’s debut too, though we have Bernd Leno in our predicted lineup for the match.

Even if Mustafi only makes the bench, it’s still a good time to have an extra centre-back. Rob Holding is likely out for the next few weeks, with Sokratis and William Saliba ineligible for the Europa League, so Arsenal need alternatives to Gabriel and David Luiz.