Unai Emery says the club’s doctors are optimistic that Alex Lacazette will recover from an ankle injury in time to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
The France international hasn’t featured in either of the Gunners last two friendly games since hobbling off in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon and while he’s been seen in training, it appears the medical staff have urged patience.
“The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait. The next days are going to be important if he can progress with his injury. If he is OK for Sunday, perfect. If not, for the next [match].”
The Spaniard was also asked for a fitness update on new signing Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian had only just returned from his holiday when he completed his move to Arsenal and had previously spent the summer on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
It sounds as though our club-record signing is unlikely to play a part at St James’ Park in our Premier League opener with Emery preaching patience.
“Tomorrow we are going to train together,” said Emery. “Each day for him [Pepe] and for us is information we can save. We hope he can be [available] for this match. With him, I want to be patient.
“He is in the same situation as the other players who have been coming in the last days. For example, Lucas, after one week of training today has his first ten minutes. With Pepe it’s the same. It’s better to be training and be working with us.”