Arsenal will be without three players through injury and suspension at the weekend, as Mikel Arteta’s side travels to face Burnley.
Arsenal posted a team news update on Thursday morning, and it’s mostly good news.
On injury absentees, Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding are still out with the injuries that kept them out against Norwich City, but both seem to be progressing well. Other than that, everyone appears to be fit and available.
In Elneny’s case, he has a hamstring strain, but he’s aiming to be back in full training next week. That will make him a long shot for the game against AFC Wimbledon, but you’d expect him to be available after that.
As for Holding, he’s back in training with the squad, he’s just not available for Saturday’s match against Burnley. He has knee bruising sustained in training ahead of the Norwich game.
Granit Xhaka is the only other enforced absentee. Though he returned from Switzerland to rejoin training after his Covid-19 absence, he is still suspended following his red card against Manchester City.
Ahead of Switzerland’s game against Greece over the international break, Xhaka had to pull out of the squad after testing positive for Covid-19. The Swiss FA head of communications Adrian Arnold then explained the midfielder hadn’t been vaccinated.
“Granit Xhaka was not vaccinated,” Arnold confirmed. “He’s a player who isn’t vaccinated. We left this up to each player, it’s a personal decision of each player – just like any other person in Switzerland.
“We have issued a recommendation that everyone vaccinate. But he decided for himself personally. And it is also his right not to be vaccinated.”
Arteta has since spoken to the media and suggested he believes it’s better if the players do get vaccinated.
“Obviously, it will limit certain aspects if they don’t [get vaccinated], because we don’t want to expose ourselves in certain things,” said Arteta.
“For example, travelling. If they are not vaccinated and they travel or socialise in certain situations, obviously the risk increases a lot. We don’t want that exposure with any of our players. Because, at the end, the team and the club will pay the price.”