Mikel Arteta has revealed that all of his previously unavailable Arsenal players are back available ahead of their Europa League semi-final clash with Villarreal.
The Gunners played Everton on Friday without David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, but the manager claims that all of the above are now in contention to return.
It remains to be seen just how fit any of those are, but even if we could have the two strikers play one half each that could be huge.
If all four proved to be 100%, you would expect all four to make the starting line-up in what will be the biggest match of our season thus far.
Arteta admits that the feeling inside the squad is that of excitement, before he revealed that he is expecting all of his absentees to make the squad.
The manager was asked what the feeling was around the squad in his pre-match conference (via Arsenal), to which he replied: “Extremely excited to travel today and play the game tomorrow, knowing that this tie is going to take us to the final if we do the right things and we earn it. We have a tough opponent in front of us but we really want to be there.”
Arteta was then asked whether he had news on the missing players, and he confirmed: “They are all in contention. All of them. Including Aubameyang, Laca and Kieran. They are all in contention for the game. Yes [it is good news].”
This is obviously a huge boost to our squad, knowing that not only could we have some of those players ready to take on Villarreal come Thursday, but means that you would expect all four to be back at 100% for the second leg at the very least.
Would you throw all into the starting line-up if they proved to be ready?