Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mertesacker, Bellerin and Giroud join training

Per Mertesacker has returned to first team training for the first time since suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in pre-season.

The 32-year-old, who spoke recently about his desire to earn a new contract at the Emirates, has been working on a return to fitness back in Germany after undergoing surgery in early August but is now back with his teammates as he looks to make a first team return in the new year.

There is further good news on the injury front today with Hector Bellerin and Olivier Giroud also taking part in training ahead of the trip to Switzerland. The Spaniard, who has been out for three weeks with ankle ligament damage, is unlikely to travel, however, the French striker, who missed the matches with Southampton and West Ham due to a slight groin strain, could be included in the squad.

With Danny Welbeck on the mend, it means Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy are the only players likely to be out for the long-term.

Thanks to resident youth expert @jeorgebird for the updates. We’ll have more team news when Wenger faces the media in his pre-Basel press conference later

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

… and I thought we still have Yaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom out with some mysterious/confidential injuries. But again, they are hardly “first team players”.

David Hillier's luggage

Akpom has a back injury and appears to be doing gym work (going by social media), but yeah they should should be included on the list.


Mert channeling his inner christmas elf in the picture.


The BFG is a GFE in that case…


Great news! Hope Santi Cazorla joins soonest

Indian Gooner

Great.. Great news!
Welbeck to return back soon as well!
We are suddenly starting to look like a real force!

Edu's Braces

Maybe not the most relevant article to ask but what do you reckon guys, 1st team for Basel or accept 2nd place? Id be inclined to resting our main men personally, certainly alexis. Kos, Ozil & Coq too. Ups for 2nd string, downs for all out first team. Or just carry on with your day ?


Can’t take our chances, we need those away goals if we are to finish top of the group, but let’s see what happens


Overall away goals don’t matter, as PSG have the head-to-head tiebreaker versus Arsenal (on account of scoring 2 goals at the Emirates against our 1 in Paris). We can only win first place if we get more points than PSG tomorrow.

So a strong second-team is my call: Lucas, Walcott, Ramsey, Iwobi, Elneny, Niles, Gibbs, Mustafi, Holding, Jenkinson, Ospina.

Leave Cech, Alexis, Ozil, Gabriel, Koscielny behind in London.


I wouldn’t put Lucas in goal me. 🙂


Our Matches against PSG count first. So the number of goals we score against Basel will only be important if PSG drops points against Ludograts. If they win and we win we are out because they have two away goals against our one in the two draws between PSG and Arsenal.

I think we should field a weakened team, resting 3-4 players but not field a EPL Cup team


Ospina; jenko, kostafi, Gibbs; Xhaka, elneny, Ozil; chambo, alexis, iwobi.
Subs: Cech, Gabi, monreal, coq, Ramsey, walcott, lucas


PSG have to lose or draw for us to have any chance of topping the group. So we have to win and hope they draw. Away goals won’t matter.


I think we should play Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Alexis – all for Ludogorets against PSG. Our second team can then beat Basel and thus we will finish first in the group.

Campbell's forehead

I think Alexis should definitely be rested, along with Kos. Ozil should play considering he didn’t get called up for international duty last month which means he’ll be fresher than the others. We still have enough with the replacements to beat Basel.


If you consider our luck in recent years, it wont matter if we finish first or second. Come second and we’ll draw Barcelona. Win it and we’ll get Bayern. (or maybe Real Madrid either way).

…And I’m normally such a ‘glass half full’ type 🙁

Wenger's Philosophy Teacher

And two years ago we drew Monaco and we all thought we lucked out… 🙁 It’s the Champions League; any way you cut it you have to play against very tough teams with players desperate to show what they’re made of. I agree with an earlier comment that there’s more of a case for finishing first simply to get the return trip at home. The name of the team drawn is not quite irrelevant but I think it’s too easy to say “oh, it’s X we can beat them” or “oh, it’s Y we will most certainly lose”. Can’t argue… Read more »


i think it doesnt matter. as of now if we finish first we might get top teams like city bayern , real madrid . if we finish second we might get barca , athletico madrid , dortmund , juventus. these are the only teams we better not face in the next round. rest of the teams are beatable . finishing first only have a slight advatage if we look at these opponents . but it’ll be good to finish first as wenger said . besides i really think we are stretching with sanchez a bit .he might not complain but… Read more »

Gunner Rob

Nicely explained but we won’t draw City in the first knock out round. Teams from the same country can’t be drawn against each other until the quarter finals, unless they’ve changed the rules.

Edu's Braces

Arsene, the fans have spoken, and we’re always right


Away goals don’t matter. We need to better PSG’s result (vs Ludogorets home) so not too much hope. I’d rotate a bit. Not a LC team but I’d rest everyone who needs a breather.

Ospina, Gabby, Holding, Kos, Gibbs, Elneny, Zelalem, Iwobi, JRA, Theo, Lucas maybe.


Wow. Great news about per. He really is a rock at centre back. Hope he gets some involvement this season.

Dirty Sanchez + Two Dogs

There is probably a 5% chance that Ludogorets gets a draw at PSG and even lesser for a win. I’ll say start Kos and Sanchez on the bench, both have played a lot of footie. We should still be good enough to win without the two and if need be, bring them on.


I am going to my first game tomorrow night in Basel, so I kind of hope Wenger puts out a strong team. If it were me I would rest the players that need resting, we have little chance to finish above PSG and we should not count on easy draws to win the CL. Fuck, I would like to see us beat Bayern or Barcelona over two legs for a change, that would really put the past behind us.




Too early to put Jenkinson back in the team imo. Maitland-Niles definitely deserves to start in some role. Would be nice to see Holding get some minutes though.


Going to be really tough for the BFG to get any playing time unless there is a long term injury. Mustafi is clearly first choice and even Gabriel has really only gotten time in the middle in the EFL Cup matches (which are now over). He certainly is the first choice off of the bench for cover and I would venture to say Holding would be next.

I do like Per a great deal and he has done very well for the team, but just don’t think he will get much time if any this season.


No way is Holding ahead of Mert.

Gabriel is less clear (Wenger alternated preferences between the two last season)

Goon Army

Good to have first team players coming back considering we have the FA cup starting next month. On top of that the CL returns in February which means fixtures will come thick and fast. Game time for everybody. Up the Arse!


Very important returns : 1)Giroud of course because despite the quality of Alexis, he can still struggle against teams who retreat into a bunker approach. Sometimes, you need the big man to bully space and knock the door down. 2)Bellerin obviously because he is simply missed with the width he gives us on the right. Although currently, Gabriel has done a great job. 3) Per because you never know with injuries if should one of Koscielny or Mustafi (what an excellent buy) get a knock. Gabriel should be the first to step him because he looks like he is showing… Read more »

Santi's Smile

Would be great to have Bellerin back for Man City. Though Gabriel has been good, not sure any RB anywhere can do what Hector does.

No. 8

Really really really happy for Per to be back. I like him as a player and character.

I would be inclined to rest Gabriel. He isn’t used to playing full back and I imagine could do with a rest. With Stoke on the weekend I think we need him at full strength as we do the rest of players.


I hope Mustafi goes the whole season without experiencing defeat. Now, that would be some debut season!


It is highly unlikely PSG will lost point against ludogorets, but never say never. I think we should go for this one and maybe we can rest few players in certain areas to keep our momentum going. #coyg

My predicted line up for tonight’s game vs Basel:

Miles Mustafi Koscienly Gibbs
Ramsey Xhaka
Iwobi Ozil Chamberlain

Subs: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Ramsey, Walcott, Giroud, Perez. Im going for a 3-1 win to the gunner. Alexis to score first.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x