Mikel Arteta told the press today that his Arsenal side could be missing up to four players this weekend, with Alexandre Lacazette’s availability unconfirmed at present.
The Gunners were without all of Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney last weekend, and there is no positive news on any of that trio. In fact the manager claimed that the Ghanaian’s injury could be worse than initially expected and his participation again this season is now in doubt, although the player is said to be working hard to make a return.
Lacazette could well be set to miss this weekend also, although the manager couldn’t confirm the reasoning behind the club captain’s absence from training, and Arteta seemed upbeat on his chances of being in line to feature at St. Mary’s on Saturday.
The boss told Arsenal Media in his pre-match conference: “Obviously there are private reasons that I cannot comment on, but I have no other team news to give other than the guys we have discussed.
“We will see if he’s available. It’s a good possibility that that’s the case.”
It would be interesting to see who gets the nod to lead the line should Laca not make it in time, with Eddie Nketiah a serious option given he is the only natural striker remaining in the senior squad, although some would no doubt like to see Gabriel Martinelli given the chance to feature up top.
It wouldn’t be a shock if Lacazette didn’t start even if he did make himself available, having missed some of the key training sessions ahead of the matchup, and he could well make a bigger impact coming in off the bench regardless, especially if he can fire up the fans as we go in search of the win.
How much of a blow would it be to lose Laca this weekend on top of the absences we already have?