Arsenal faces mounting concerns over player availability as they gear up to visit Brentford in a crucial Premier League match. Mikel Arteta’s squad encountered a setback during training, with a handful of vital players notably absent, casting a shadow over their availability for the upcoming match at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday evening.
The absence of first-team members, exacerbated by a mix of ineligibility and injuries, threatens to challenge Arteta’s strategic lineup choices. Chief among the absentees is David Raya, who has emerged as Arteta’s preferred goalkeeper this season ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, finds himself ineligible to play against his parent club due to Premier League regulations governing loaned players.
While Ramsdale stands ready to take his place between the posts, the more pressing concern revolves around the condition of defender Benjamin White. White’s injury, sustained earlier this month, sidelined him from the outdoor training session early today.
With Arsenal eyeing a climb to second place in the league table, the stakes are high. However, the team faces an uphill battle with a spate of injuries plaguing key players. Emile Smith Rowe is currently struggling with a knee issue and Thomas Partey’s absence until the end of the year further compounds Arteta’s selection woes.
Ahead of the Brentford clash, reports suggest a mixed bag of news on the injury front. While some players returned from international duty and trained indoors, away from the main session, White worked on a personalised regimen indoors due to his muscular problem.
Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka and trained inside after only returning from international duty earlier today.
Despite concerns, there were glimmers of hope as Odegaard participated in the training session, hinting at his potential availability for the upcoming fixture.
Brazilian trio Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli, who were involved in a demanding FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Columbia and Argentina, raised further concerns over player fatigue and potential fitness issues. Jesus completed the full 90 minutes despite only returning from a hamstring injury that has kept him on the sideline for almost a month.
Arteta will hope for positive news ahead of a busy festive schedule starting this weekend.