Arsene Wenger has cast doubt of Spanish duo Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla ahead of the Gunners opening Premier League game this weekend with Aston Villa.
Cazorla featured for majority of Spain’s 2-0 victory over Ecuador and will face a late fitness test after returning later than his other international team mates.
Arteta is the main worry however as the regular midfielder has a “slight thigh problem” and will have a scan before the weekend.
The likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere look set to feature this weekend after returning from duty unscathed, however there is no news on Aaron Ramsey’s fitness who withdrew from the Welsh camp with an ankle problem.
Wenger also gave some updates on the longer term injuries. The Frenchman said in his pre-match press conference:
[on the international players]
We have positive news from the players on international duty. All the tests we had have back are OK. The games were quite intense but we hope everyone comes back in good shape.
[on Cazorla’s international in Ecuador]
He played almost a full game. He only lands in London tonight [Thursday] so we’ll see how he is tomorrow.
[on Mikel Arteta]
Mikel has a slight thigh problem. We have to check that. I don’t know if he will be out for the weekend. He has a scan today.
[on Nacho Monreal (back)]
He should join up with the squad for full training in 10 days. He is out for the weekend of course.
[on Thomas Vermaelen (back)]
It is a while longer for him. It is difficult to put a timescale on it but it will be a bit longer. He is progressing OK.
[on Abou Diaby (knee)]
It is longer still for him but again the timescale is difficult. He is a few months in and it was expected to be nine months.
[on Ryo (rib)]
He is close and he should be back with the training group next week.
The most worrying news is of Arteta who is an invaluable member to the squad, and with Ramsey’s knock still to in the air Arsenal’s squad is already looking extremely thin.
Not good Wenger, not good. We should have the quality to beat Aston Villa this weekend but we clearly need some signings and fast.
Get to it Wenger and co.