Mikel Arteta has explained why Nuno Tavares and Joe Willock didn’t feature in the pre-season friendly against Hibernian FC on Tuesday.
Arsenal kicked off pre-season on Tuesday against Hibernian FC, but there were a couple of players missing from what we expected in the matchday squad.
New signing Nuno Tavares and Joe Willock both travelled to Edinburgh with the rest, but neither made the bench for the game. Mikel Arteta explained why afterwards.
In Tavares’ case, it turns out the club simply didn’t have the paperwork necessary to play him in matches just yet. But that’s not expected to be a problem by the weekend.
“He didn’t have all the paperwork necessary to be involved today,” Arteta said. “But hopefully, that will be all ready to go and he can have his debut on Saturday against Rangers.”
As for Willock, it turns out the midfielder had a minor injury keeping him out of the game.
“Well, he wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue,” Arteta explained. “He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here, we will try to make the most out of him.”
Arteta didn’t give any guarantees over whether or not Willock would be involved on Saturday, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one. It would be a shame if he made the trip just to sit on the sidelines in both games, but it happens.
At the very least, we can be optimistic that we’ll get our first look at Tavares in an Arsenal shirt before the end of the week.