Mikel Arteta is hopeful that most of Arsenal’s injured players will be available by next Friday, as the Gunners prepare for their Premier League opener.
There have been plenty of positives in Arsenal’s pre-season preparations so far, from Gabriel Jesus’ explosive goalscoring start to heavy wins over the likes of Chelsea and Sevilla. But one of the negatives has been a few ongoing injuries.
As it stands, Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe, and Fabio Vieira are all out of action, four players who certainly add a lot to the squad. Any of them could even make a case as a starter this season.
Arsenal fans are keen to see them all back involved, and Mikel Arteta has suggested that’s a possibility for next Friday’s match against Crystal Palace.
“I think that most of them will be (ready),” Arteta said. “They’ll have to go through what they need to this week and then hopefully we’ll have them available.
“They are lacking minutes but we’ll have to build that up like any other injury that we get during the season.”
There was a positive sign with Tierney in particular on Saturday, as he was involved in Arsenal’s post-match warm-down at the Emirates following the Sevilla match.
Ultimately, Oleksandr Zinchenko will likely start at left-back against Palace, with Ben White at right-back, Gabriel Martinelli on the left wing, and Granit Xhaka in midfield. We probably won’t say any of the injured players starting immediately.
The absent quartet are being covered for excellently, to the extent that it’s not clear who would’ve started the last couple of games if everyone had been fit.
It’s always better to have options, though, so a return to the bench for any of the four would be very welcome.