Arsene Wenger has delivered a mixed injury update in the wake of Wednesday night’s 2-0 loss at home to Southampton that saw them exit the EFL Cup.
Mohamed Elneny was replaced in the first half after going down after no physical contact with anyone, the worry of a serious muscular injury was quickly played down by Wenger post-match as it was revealed the Egypt international was suffering from illness prior to the game.
“He was sick before the game,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “He decided he felt well enough. I could see after five or 10 minutes that he was not right. He has no medical injury problem, but he has diarrhea or a stomach problem.”
Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud may have been in contention for a start against the Saints considering Lucas Perez had only recently returned to training, and it could have been a completely different game entirely. His physical presence will be greatly desired this weekend against West Ham and Wenger rates his compatriot at having just a ‘chance’ to be available, while a deeply-missed Santi Cazorla still does not have a timeframe for his return.
“Giroud is short, but has a chance to be available for Saturday,” the Arsenal boss confirmed.
“Cazorla I don’t know, honestly. It’s just inflammation. It can go in two days, two weeks – I don’t know. He has no setback, the inflammation is just still here. At the moment, it’s stable.”
The loss of Cazorla in midfield has been huge to say the least, however Granit Xhaka has been showing promise that he can replace the Spaniard’s precise passing and calmness in central areas. It had been hoped the diminutive midfielder would be available for December, now it’s just a waiting game.
Arsenal need to bounce back quickly after a woeful performance in the EFL Cup, they visit West Ham United on Saturday evening and hopefully will be boosted by the return of both Giroud and Elneny to help continue our decent streak in the league.