Arsenal have been struggling much with fitness issues lately, especially in the defensive department. Calum Chambers it our for the rest of the season. Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac have both been out recently, forcing Mikel Arteta to utilize young winger Bukayo Saka on the left defensive flank – but Saka picked up a knock too in the goalless draw away at Burnley last week. Even the newly signed Cedric Soares came from Southampton injured. Forward Reiss Nelson has now joined them all in the treatment room.
Various outlets have provided some information on when these players, apart from Chambers obviously, could be back in action. From what we gather, it seems Saka’s knock wasn’t too serious, and the 18-year-old should return to the fold soon after the winter break, which couldn’t have come at a better time. Kolasinac and Nelson are set to join the team for full training as soon as they start work again, which should be tomorrow (Friday) in Dubai. Cedric is close too, but Tierney is set for at least another month on the sidelines, recovering from surgery on his shoulder.
All in all, Arteta should have a lot more options at his disposal than he had recently, and it is to be hoped that no significant fresh injuries occur over the remaining part of the season as his team strive to win a trophy, or at least secure a place in Europe in 2020/21. The Gunners are still in with a shot at winning the Europa League and the FA Cup, but the Premier League should by no means get neglected.
Arsenal will welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates in 10 days’ time, before traveling to Greece to face Olympiacos. Then it’s Everton at home, and then the second leg against Olympiacos. Arteta’s men have a good chance of progressing from the fifth round of the FA Cup too, as they face Portsmouth away early in March.