Mikel Arteta has given an update on all of the Arsenal players still to return to the pitch following injuries or World Cup absences.
Arsenal played their final public friendly against Juventus on Saturday, losing 2-0 to a couple of own goals in a somewhat muted display – despite having the lion’s share of the chances.
But whilst Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsdale returned to the team for the game and Matt Turner returned to the bench, there are still a few absentees.
After the game, Mikel Arteta first addressed the absences of Emile Smith Rowe, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who have all been missing through injury.
“[Emile] hasn’t been able to train in the last few days but hopefully he can start [to train] next week,” Arteta said. “He’s been out for a while now – he needs some time to get back to speed.
“We really need him and we’re going to welcome him with both arms, because he’s a really important player for us. We need him fit on the pitch.
“Alex is progressing well and Tomi is running on the pitch.”
From the sounds of things, it doesn’t seem as if Smith Rowe will be available for the West Ham United game, but Zinchenko and Tomiyasu could still make the squad if things go well this week.
Gabriel Jesus will remain absent for a while yet, and it looks like Reiss Nelson is set to join him.
That leaves us waiting on a few World Cup absentees, with the fans particularly keen to see Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli back with the squad in time for West Ham.
Arteta also addressed those two in his press conference.
“Hopefully we’re going to get the international players [who have been at the World Cup] joining again this week,” Arteta continued. “[Saka and Martinelli will] come back straight away into the rhythm, shape, and mould of the team.
“We’re waiting for them and they are desperate to be back as well. I’ve spoken to both of them. Gabi was here today, with a big smile and big energy. He’s ready to go again. It’s going to be a big boost for the team.”
Finally, William Saliba was with France for the World Cup final today, so it remains to be seen when he returns.