Arsenal kick off the 2021/22 Premier League season on Friday night with a trip to newly-promoted Brentford.
Whilst the Gunners’ pre-season preparations haven’t quite gone as smoothly as many would have hoped for, the real thing gets underway this week and it’s important to get off to a perfect start.
Following back-to-back eighth-placed finishes, pressure is on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to get his side challenging for a European spot next season.
Unlike the past 25 seasons, the north London outfit won’t be in Europe which means a reduced fixture schedule just might turn out to be beneficial for Arteta’s side.
However, they go into the game against Brentford on the back of two defeats – albeit in friendlies against Chelsea and bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Sunday’s runout against Spurs did provide a chance for players to get more minutes under their belts, but Arteta does have some concerning injury troubles to contend with ahead of the trip across the capital.
With that said, here is a round-up of all the very latest Gunners injury news and expected return dates.
The 28-year-old limped off during the Gunners’ 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat by Chelsea but, initially, there was optimism about the midfielder’s fitness as he didn’t require a CAM protective boot.
However, whilst the injury is not too serious, Partey is set to miss the trip to Brentford as well as the home game against the Blues and is a doubt to face Manchester City at the end of the month.
Ahead of the Spurs clash, Arsenal issued an update on the Ghana international.
“Thomas sustained an injury to ligaments in his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea last Sunday,” a statement reads. “Thomas continues to be assessed and is expected to be back in training in approximately three weeks.”
Three weeks from the date of the update (August 7) means Partey could return to training on August 28, which is the date of the Gunners’ trip to the Etihad Stadium.
One would assume that unless the midfielder gets a few sessions under his belt ahead of the Man City game, it won’t be until after the international break where he will return to action.
It has also been confirmed that Nketiah is facing up to a month on the sidelines with an ankle problem of his own.
“Eddie sustained bruising to his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea last Sunday,” the statement continued. “Eddie continues to be assessed and is expected to be back in training in approximately four weeks.”
The striker, who has been linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, will be targeting a return to action after the international break.
But will that be in Gunners colours or for another club?
There is some good news on Gabriel who is aiming to be back in training in the forthcoming weeks following a knee injury that kept him out of the summer Olympic Games.
This is after Sport physiotherapist Thiago Pegoretti took to social media to deliver a rather promising update on the Gunners defender.
“The player @_gabrielmagalhaes, who works for Arsenal football club, in England, carried out an 11-day preventive and preparatory work with me in Cancun, Mexico, before returning to Europe,” Pegoretti wrote on Instagram. “I thank you for the confidence you have placed in my work and I wish you an excellent season, brother.”
With that said, Arsenal’s trip to Brentford on Friday will come too soon for Gabriel’s return.
Perhaps a full week of training could have placed Gabriel in contention to face the Blues when they make the trip to the Emirates Stadium on August 22.
But with a date for his return to training not revealed, it could be a few more weeks before the Brazilian is available for selection.
Somewhat of a surprise absentee against Spurs, Arteta delivered an update on the central defender after the game confirming that he wasn’t fit enough.
“With Rob he wasn’t available, he wasn’t fit enough to play today,” the Spaniard confirmed in his post-match press conference.
It remains to be seen just how serious the setback is and if Holding can recover in time to face the Bees.
Joe Willock was left out of the squad to face Spurs too, but that was transfer-related rather than a potential injury scare and he is set to join Newcastle United for £25million, football.london understands.
Willian was also a shock absentee, but he did train ahead of the game, so it would appear that was just a decision taken by Arteta.
Meanwhile, Hector Bellerin, Ben White, Kieran Tierney, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were all substituted in the north London derby.
Although, they were tactical-related changes and should all be in contention for the Premier League opener.
Source by Football London