Arsenal’s returning World Cup stars Lichtsteiner, Xhaka and Torreira have only recently rejoined the squad but still got some gametime in the Gunners 2-0 win over Lazio at the weekend, but the new coach Unai Emery still thinks they have a chance to be fit enough to face Man City in our League opener next weekend.
Emery told Arsenal.com: “It’s a different match today for Lichtsteiner, Xhaka and Torreira. We want to give them these minutes for fitness and also so that they’re working together and tactically can start to work with us. In the first week it’s clear that they’re not at their best physically, but we want to continue working with them and if they are OK physically, mentally and in their performances, and better also than other players who were working with us, we could choose them in the first XI.”
We have most of our squad training with Emery for the last month, so they are obviously going to be fitter and more schooled in Emery’s new tactics, but surely Lichtsteiner can’t play any worse than Bellerin, and we have no other defensive midfielder in the same class as Torreira. Should Emery choose them even if they are not quite up to match fitness in such a big game as Man City?