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Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli will be available for the Gunner’s Premier League return on Boxing Day against West Ham.
Martinelli and Saka represented their nations at the 2022 World Cup however both bowed out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage.
The news surrounding Saka and Martinelli is a huge boost for Arsenal as Injury issues are currently fairly the concern for Arteta with Gabriel Jesus set to be out till February at the earliest with a knee injury, whereas Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both combating niggles.
Zinchenko is recovering from a calf injury, and maybe fit in time for Arsenal’s fixture against West Ham. While Tomiyasu is nursing a hamstring injury picked up on international duty with Japan.
Emile Smith Rowe was also dealt a recent setback in his recovery from groin surgery after Arteta confirmed he had been absent from training this week.
Reiss Nelson additionally could also be set for a spell on the treatment table after he came off in Arsenal’s mid-season friendly defeat to Juventus, with Arteta not presently confident on his prognosis.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury,” the Arsenal boss told reporters. “The fact that he had to leave the pitch straight away is not good news, especially with someone like Reiss who is really powerful and fast. Let’s see what will happen. We know what we have to do and that doesn’t change the plans.”
Although the injury problems appear to be mounting for the Gunners, Arteta has been given a major boost concerning the returns of two of his star attackers with Martinelli and Saka in line to play against West Ham on Boxing Day.
When asked in regards to the duo missing Arsenal’s return to Premier League football, Arteta said: “No, I don’t have any concerns. They have assessed really well and they will be training for us in the next few days so hopefully, they will be ready.”
The January transfer window looks set to be crucial for Arsenal as they aim to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title by adding some needed squad depth, particularly with the injuries piling up, and Arteta has given his ideas over any fears he could have about more injuries coming soon.
“Hopefully not,” he said. “This period that we’re in, normally every season in the Premier League is extremely condensed, we play every three or four days, so players are used to it.
“It is a little bit different because they have been with their national teams and obviously they have been demanding different things to what we do but hopefully we can control that in the right way.”