Emile Smith Rowe, Granit Xhaka, and Bukayo Saka are all back in training ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images)

Of Arsenal’s five key absentees in the second half against Liverpool at the weekend, three of them look close to a return to the pitch.

Bukayo Saka returned to training a day or so before the Liverpool game, and the good news is that he remains in training this week. He’s been joined by Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka after injury and illness respectively.

Unfortunately, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney are almost certain to remain absent, with their current timelines putting them both out for at least a couple of weeks. Luiz is unlikely to return this month after minor surgery.

Still, the other three will give Mikel Arteta’s side a boost. It’s hard to think of any games where Arsenal have really impressed this season without Saka, Smith Rowe, and Xhaka.

In forward areas, Arteta should be able to put out his best side. The back-four will inevitably be a bit makeshift, but that’s just something they’ll have to overcome.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.