Boss Mikel Arteta spoke to the press ahead of Burnley’s visit to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Gunners go into the match off the back of a dominating performance against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League, and are looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after last weekend’s controversial defeat to Newcastle.
Regarding his sides’ injury struggles and the latest team news, Arteta said: “You mention we have a few. A few are still in contention. We need to give them 24 more hours to give them a chance to be involved in the game, but we won’t know anything until tomorrow.”
Arteta was asked on who would definitely not be available: “Timber is for sure not. Thomas Partey is for sure out and probably Emile is out. There might be a few more.”
Bukayo Saka limped off Wednesday night, not for the first time this season. Arteta was asked about his thoughts on Saka being called up for England and if he will be brought back like last time: “Hopefully not. We want our players to play for their club and play for their national teams. ‘B’ had to leave the pitch because he was in quite a lot of pain. He didn’t train yesterday and let’s see if he can make it tomorrow.”
On why Eddie Nketiah was not selected for England this time: “Well I don’t know the real reason. That’s a question for Gareth. I know how important for him it is to be in the national team and how much he enjoys being there in the last few experiences. That’s a decision that’s not in my hands.”
It was confirmed on Thursday that Thomas Partey had a small procedure to aid his recovery from injury. Arteta was asked if he thinks the procedure will impact the amount of time he’s out: “No, hopefully not. He’s progressing really well but it was a significant injury. Hopefully, it’s going to be weeks and not months and he’s working towards that. He needs support and hopefully the injury will heal in the right way and we’ll have him back, because he’s a big player for us.”
On whether he will be back for the African Cup of Nations: “That’s part number two. Let’s get him quick and healthy as quick as possible and playing a big part in the team, which I think that he can do.”
There has been talk since Aaron Ramsdale lost his place to David Raya regarding his long-term future at the club , and how not playing will impact on the 25-year olds chances of playing at the European Championships next summer. Arteta was asked if he had spoken to Ramsdale about the subject, offering an unsurprising short and vague response, “I haven’t spoken to him about that topic, no.”