Mikel Arteta had good news on Ben White and Bukayo Saka for the North London derby, following the weekend win over Leeds United.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Ben White of Arsenal warms up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park on April 04, 2022. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Ben White of Arsenal warms up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park on April 04, 2022. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As we head towards Arsenal’s biggest game of the season on Thursday, every little potential injury issue is going to be a cause for plenty of frayed fan nerves.

After the win over Leeds United on Sunday, there were a couple of those concerns.

One was Bukayo Saka, who was withdrawn early for Nicolas Pepe. Fortunately, Mikel Arteta confirmed after the match: “Yeah, he was fine.”

The other was Ben White, who has now missed Arsenal’s last two matches with a tight hamstring.

White wasn’t even available for the bench on Sunday, but Arteta seemed optimistic for his chances of being fit against Spurs.

“I think so, he’s been starting to do a little bit of work now on the pitch and we want everybody available because we know that game is so important,” Arteta said.

Rob Holding has done a very good job filling in during the last couple of games. He scored his first Premier League goal against West Ham, and he helped Arsenal cling on to 2-1 wins in both of his starts without White.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Rob Holding of Arsenal celebrates scoring their side's first goal with teammates during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on May 01, 2022. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Rob Holding of Arsenal celebrates scoring their side’s first goal with teammates during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on May 01, 2022. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

But it may not be Holding dropping out of the team if White is available. Arsenal might use three at the back against Spurs, or put White at right-back so Takehiro Tomiyasu is available to play at left-back again.

One thing is for sure, Arteta would much prefer to have all of those options available than to have his hand forced by White’s continued absence.

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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.