Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of several key players ahead of their trip to Bournemouth on Saturday. Mikel Arteta, who was already working without Thomas Partey, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli during the North London Derby draw with Tottenham last week, has been dealt another couple of blows.
Not only did Declan Rice have to go off at half-time with a back problem, Bukayo Saka also picked up a knock and was limping come the end of the game. As two of the key parts to the team, Arteta is hopeful of having them involved for the trip to south coast but gave very little away when speaking to reporters on Friday.
«He wasn’t available. He had to leave the London Debry and he hasn’t trained yet,» Arteta said. «We have another session in an hour or two so we’ll have more news about him today,» the Spanish coach said when asked about his key midfielder. As for Martinelli, who was ruled out of the PSV Eindhoven game following a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win over Everton, there was little more to add.
«Again, he hasn’t trained. We want him back, we need him back, but at the moment he’s not been available.» Arteta said, hinting at the Brazilian being unavailable once more. «It's the same situation,» he added regarding Trossard and Saka, both of whom were absent for the win over Brentford in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Saka in particular is a key man for the Gunners but Arteta won't be making decisions based on what games are coming up. «No the assessment is OK,» he explained. «Are they fit enough, has he done enough to be able to be selected tomorrow and that’s the question mark. So far he hasn’t done enough to be with the team in training.»
There was also an unexpected blow to for William Saliba. The Frenchman has aRead on football.london