Mikel Arteta has provided an update on Arsenal’s injuries ahead of the club’s season opener against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal kick off the Premier League season with a trip across the capital to face Crystal Palace on Friday evening, as the Gunners look to begin the campaign with three points at Selhurst Park.
Ahead of the clash, Arteta provided a positive update on his squad and the fitness levels of Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Kieran Tierney.
“Three out of four are training this afternoon. If everything goes well hopefully they are going to be in the squad,” Arteta told his pre-match press conference.
The Spaniard spoke further on Tierney and Tomiyasu, with the full-backs having struggled with fitness problems in recent months. Arteta believes a previous lack of depth in his squad has perhaps contributed to the injury problems of the defensive duo.
“The reason they have those injuries are for different reasons and probably because the squad didn’t enable them to fully recover. What I can tell you is that those two players are so willing to contribute to the team.”
Martin Odegaard will captain Arsenal this season following the departure of Alexandre Lacazette and Arteta believes the midfielder will relish the responsibility of wearing the armband.
“This season we had the opportunity to do it in the way that I believe could work,” he said. “We chose a player in Martin who has been with us for 18 months and represents the values of the club in the perfect way.
“He’s respected by all the dressing room and admired by the staff. I’m happy to have someone like him, he’s enjoying the responsibility and he’s going to need some support.”
Arsenal were also involved in the opening fixture of the 2021/22 Premier League season, with the Gunners well beaten in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Brentford.
Despite the similarities of a Friday night fixture across the capital, Arteta insists Arsenal are looking forward and hopeful of securing a positive result.
“It is different. Everything that happened before Brentford was pretty strange and unique [number of reported Covid cases in the squad]. We are really excited, looking forward to the new season and will try to start in the best way.”