The Gunners have received an injury boost with the news that club captain Thomas Vermaelen is out running in a bid to return to fitness, while Ryo Miyaichi has also returned to full training.
Wenger has cast doubt over Koscielny’s involvement on Tuesday night, but he is suspended for this weekend’s Premier League tie with Fulham. The Frenchman has a deep gash above his eye after receiving a boot to the face on Wednesday night against Fenerbahce.
In general the team have responded well after a congested fixture list right off the bat, with the Arsenal boss conceding he will have to evaluate some players closer to gameday.
Arsene Wenger revealed the following team news ahead of Saturday’s trip to Craven Cottage:
[on Laurent Koscielny] He’s like a boxer who had a hard fight the night before; lots of blood around his eye and a deep cut. He is suspended for Saturday anyway but let’s hope he recovers for next Tuesday [against Fenerbahce]. It will be short because the cut is very deep. Hopefully it will be alright.
[on other team news] The news is quite positive at the moment. Of course we have some players who I will need to consider because of the accumulation of the international game and then the Premier League and Champions League matches. I will have to make a deeper analysis tomorrow and on Saturday morning.
[on Ryo] He is back in full training now. He will be involved this season in the first-team squad. Hopefully very soon because he’s now getting fit.
[on Vermaelen] He is out running. He’s on the pitches again. But there’s still a good few weeks to go for him to get his fitness. We have Nacho back and Thomas soon back so that’s all good news for us.
Miyaichi looks set to take over Gervinho’s spot in the squad this season so hopefully he can shake off his persistent injury troubles. The youngster is an exciting talent with bundles of energy and skill so it will be interesting to see if he can hold up in the physical English game.
Vermaelen’s return will be very welcomed with the backline looking increasingly bare bones, but again it seems it will be another excuse for Wenger not to buy another defender this summer.
But let us get behind the Arsenal, COYG!