Unai Emery has confirmed that Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are ready to play against Standard Liege tomorrow night and allayed fears that the Scot had suffered an injury setback.
The former Celtic man had been expected to make the trip to Manchester on Monday but stayed in London on the advice of the Gunners’ medical staff.
When the 22-year-old also pulled out of Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for their upcoming games with Russia and San Marino, it raised further questions about his fitness. Luckily, it’s nothing to worry about.
“He needs time, confidence, training and playing,” Emery told his pre-game press conference on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow is a good opportunity, he is ready to play,” he added, “he will take minutes and confidence. He will be able with us to show his progress.”
Emery went on to admit that he’d played a part in getting his £25 million signing to pull out of international duty.
He said: “I asked Kieran yesterday because we were waiting first for him to be with us consistently. Each step is important to be consistent.
“He didn’t play in Manchester because he had a small problem, not important, but the doctor told us it was important for him to be here working alone, preparing for tomorrow.
“If we are taking precautions with him it’s important with the national team. We’re thinking it’s not the moment to work with them. For the next matches I think he’ll be ready to play with us and them. Now he will play tomorrow and hopefully he can be good completely physically, technically, with the performance we need.
“He can play but being and taking precaution for not playing a lot of matches in a few days.”
Emery also admitted that he’s been pleased with Hector Bellerin’s reintegration into the first team squad after his compatriot played 15 minutes against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and then featured against Liverpool for the under-23s on Saturday.
“Hector Bellerin is the same but with a small difference,” said the boss.
“His injury was more time, after a long time, nine months, we need first to play the 15 minutes he played last week. Perfect, the first minutes. He played in the U23s to take confidence, to do actions on the pitch to feel good, to repeat them at a higher level.
He added: “For tomorrow we are thinking – it depends on the training we are going to do now – how he is feeling but if he is feeling well tomorrow he is going to play.”