Arsenal could be handed an injury boost with the return of Granit Xhaka to first-team action this month.
We had expected the Swiss midfielder to be out of action until the start of next year.
However, injury expert Ben Dinnery is impressed by his dedication to his rehab and suggests Xhaka could be in contention to start matches for the club some time this month.
“Xhaka is a consummate professional in his dedication to his rehab,” he told Football Insider.
“The initial timeline was that he would be back in mid-January, so we have already shaved weeks off.
“I would think it would be towards the back end of December to see him back in first-team contention.
“It’s about looking at the bigger picture. Injury-wise, Arsenal have a fairly healthy squad. You don’t need to disrupt things too much.
“If he continues on his current trajectory, he should be pushing for a first-team place towards the end of December.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Xhaka has been an important member of the Arsenal squad since he joined the club and Mikel Arteta still considers him a crucial cog in the wheel of his team.
We have missed his presence in the last few months, even though the other midfielders have done a good job.
Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey will both miss a few weeks of action from January because of AFCON.
Xhaka’s return to action this month means we will not need to sign reinforcements to cover for their absence.