Friday, September 29, 2023

Mikel Arteta sweating on fitness of six Arsenal stars as fresh William Saliba injury revealed

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be without eight senior players for the trip to face Bournemouth in the Premier League this weekend. Prior to the North London Derby, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber were already on the injured list with Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli joining them after their exclusion from last weekend’s squad, with the latter picking up his issue the previous week against Everton.

Spending big in the summer was done in order to lessen the impact of any potential injury crisis, however two more crucial names look to have joined that list after the Tottenham fixture. New signing Declan Rice left the field at half time with a back injury, while Bukayo Saka limped off in the late stages after playing at right-back while the Gunners attacked as he could barely run.

Arteta has now provided the latest on all of the players as possible doubts for the clash against the Cherries while also revealing a fresh issue for William Saliba. On a positive note, Mohamed Elneny returned from his long-term injury and he could certainly be of use in midfield with Rice and Partey out.

Arteta’s six doubts

Arsenal’s current injury list is extensive and it could see Mikel Arteta without up to eight stars this weekend. The Gunners rotated significantly against Brentford in the Carabao Cup earlier this week with Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Reiss Nelson making the most of their respective opportunities.

The absence of Declan Rice saw Jorginho continue in the holding role with a fresh update suggesting he is likely to continue there. When asked about Rice, Arteta said: “He wasn’t available. He had to leave the London Debry and he hasn’t trained yet. We have another session in an hour or two so we’ll have more news about him today.”

The experiment that saw Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah both start the North London Derby did not work which makes a start for Nelson this weekend appear likely, especially with the latest on Martinelli. “Again, he hasn’t trained. We want him back, we need him back, but at the moment he’s not been available.” Arteta then revealed it is the same situation for Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka while also suggesting Fabio Vieira has a knock.

Fresh Saliba injury

The back injury to William Saliba cost Arsenal greatly in the Premier League title race last season and him missing more games would be bad for the Gunners. Thankfully, he recovered well from that problem and has started every Premier League game so far this season, but that streak could be about to end.

“They are all in the same pool,” Arteta said on the plethora of stars yet to train this week. “Willy as well had a knock. Fabio wasn’t involved in the last game. We have a few. We have to see and adapt to the situation because that’s a big number.”

While it’s possible Saliba could be fit to make the game, Tomiyasu starting at centre-back under Arteta for the first time earlier this week hints he may will miss out.

Elneny on ‘amazing’ return

The growing injury list is a massive concern for Arteta ahead of Bournemouth, but there is one positive off the back of the Brentford clash.

Coming off the bench was the first appearance for Mohamed Elneny since the injury suffered last season ruled him out for the majority of the campaign. Arsenal still renewed his deal in a show of commitment and confidence in him as a player and squad member. spoke to the Egyptian international having made that performance and asked how his return felt. He didn’t skimp on the details and spoke of the ‘amazing’ feeling to back on the grass after so long out.

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