Latest Arsenal injury news as four players could miss Man City with Bukayo Saka update expected

Arsenal injury news as the Gunners set about preparing for the trip to Manchester City at the weekend

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka

Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side have a big week ahead of them as a visit to Manchester City looms large. The Gunners travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in the first game back after the international break in the hope of creating a four-point gap between themselves and the title favourites.

Pep Guardiola’s side will start the game in third, while Arsenal could drop down to second if Liverpool win against Brighton earlier in the afternoon. With no easy welcome back to domestic action, Arteta will need to make the most of time at the training ground this week.

Perhaps fortunately, a large group of his squad have remained behind at the Sobha Realty Training Ground too. Although the host of withdrawals and minor knocks creates a slight panic in the fanbase ahead of such a key fixture, it leaves Arteta and Arsenal in total control of their rehabilitation and recovery in the lead-up.

Outside of Jurrien Timber, who wasn’t selected by Holland, having not played a minute of competitive football since August, it was deemed too soon for him to return. However, the Dutchman has been training with his teammates for the past few weeks and is closer than ever to getting back.

Timber wasn’t spotted with the remaining squad during the last set of training pictures released. This isn’t thought to be related to a setback, fortunately.

He wasn’t part of the small first-team presence felt in a heavy friendly defeat to Queens Park Rangers last week, maybe indicating just where he was. football.london understands it is too soon to know if he will be fit for the game against City and is one to be monitored.

Two senior players were involved in the match against QPR, though. After Thomas Partey decided against taking on the call to duty from Ghana late on, he played and is now building fitness. He managed to integrate back into the side briefly before the break, and his absence from Ghana was planned.

Takehiro Tomiyasu also played in the team beaten by QPR. He is yet to get any minutes in 2024 due to injury and his work at the Asia Cup in January. He did make the bench for the penalty shootout win over Porto and will be aiming to be involved in some form here.

When attention turns to those who had planned to go away with their nation, the concern rises slightly. Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes were selected by Dorival Junior for games against England and Spain, but neither made it to the camp.

Martinelli, in particular, is a worry after last being seen with a protective boot and crutches on following the 2-1 win over Brentford before the break. He is recovering from a foot injury and was replaced in the squad.

Gabriel was also called up but withdrew shortly before the meet-up. He is now resting an Achilles problem that has been managed in recent weeks by the club. It is seen as a precautionary measure, football.london understands, with hope that he will make the game against City.

Although it will be good for morale and togetherness to have him around the group, it does raise some questions in the lead-up to City. The same is definitely true for Bukayo Saka. He is the most high-profile worry at this stage.

Saka joined up with the England squad ahead of friendlies against Brazil and Belgium before returning to north London after just two days. The 22-year-old trained indoors and away from the bulk of the senior squad on Wednesday before the call was made for him to return.

“Bukayo Saka has left the England camp and returned to his club for continued rehabilitation,” a statement from the Three Lions said. “The Arsenal forward reported to St. George’s Park with an injury and has been unable to participate in training.

“No further replacements are planned as a 25-man England squad continue their preparation for the forthcoming internationals with Brazil and Belgium.” Saka had to watch on as his side were beaten 1-0 by a late Endrick goal at Wembley on Saturday.

football.london understands it is again just another precautionary action being taken due to a minor muscle injury. Arsenal fans will now wait patiently for an update from the club on Saka and others, with it likely to come from Arteta ahead of the game on Friday.

 

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