Arsenal face being without at least four first-team players tomorrow at Bournemouth as the injuries already mount up.
Mikel Arteta confirmed that Declan Rice, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Nuova Maglietta Real Madrid Bambino Letha Bukayo Saka had all not trained since Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham, ahead of the final training session this afternoon.
Rice has had back discomfort, Martinelli suffered a hamstring injury against Everton, Saka took a knock against Spurs and Trossard felt a suspected hamstring strain in training.
That adds to the prolonged absences of Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber, and a knock to Fabio Vieira.
It leaves Arteta with further selection decisions following the mass rotation in the 1-0 Carabao Cup victory over Brentford on Wednesday.
Mikel Arteta has revealed that four key Arsenal players have not trained this week ahead of Saturday’s game against Bournemouth
Declan Rice was forced off at half-time of last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham due to a problem with his back
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He said: ‘They are all in the same pool. Fabio wasn’t involved in the last game. We have a few. We have to see and adapt to the situation because that’s a big number.’
It comes ahead of the clash against Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth — a friendship between the two managers going back to their playing days.
‘We know each other really well. We played together, we had fantastic times together,’ said Arteta.
‘We played together in Anteguoko, which is a team in San Sebastian that has produced a lot of players over the years, they do fantastic work.
‘We were privileged to be raised there. That’s the beauty of football that 30 years later we are here together in the Premier League as managers. I’m really happy for that.’
But their friendship will be put aside for the 90 minutes.
‘Very easy (to put friendship aside)’ he said. ‘You are in winning mode. Compete. Get the best for your team and get in the battle. Before and after is a different story, especially after, but during there is nothing there.’
Bukayo Saka was forced off late on against Spurs and has not returned to training since
Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola played with Arteta in San Sebastian, but their friendship is set to be put aside for 90 minutes on Saturday
Kai Havertz had another mixed game midweek, and his manager stressed how the club are continuing to support him to get the best out of him.
He added: ‘Trying to help him as much as possible. Be next to him, give him the tools, confidence and minutes to exploit his talent.
‘There are so many parts to his game that he is doing exceptionally well, and we know he has to keep improving.
‘As with any player, give him support, you see a player that does what he days every single day and applies himself. If they don’t perform, it’s up to us.’
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