Mikel Arteta had good news on Ben White and Bukayo Saka for the North London derby, following the weekend win over Leeds United.
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One was Bukayo Saka, who was withdrawn early for Nicolas Pepe.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.
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.