Mikel Arteta says that Bukayo Saka has recovered well since the win over Manchester United and should be fit for Sunday’s trip to West Ham.
The England international was substituted in the closing stages on Sunday and the manager later admitted the player had been struggling to be on the field in the first place.
“Yeah, hopefully he will be fine,” said the boss in his pre-game press conference.
“He had some issues in the final part of the game but he’s recovered well and we expect him to be fine.”
Having featured for a couple of minutes against United, Takehiro Tomiyasu will be looking for more minutes this weekend.
Asked if the Japan international is ready to start a match, the boss said: “You only know that after a player has been out a long spell when you put him on the pitch. He hasn’t started any matches yet and he’s lacking a little bit of time on the pitch. It’s a decision we’ll make tomorrow.”
Arteta also played down suggestions that Thomas Partey could return this season. Hopes were raised when the Ghana international was pictured on a treadmill this week but the boss remains pessimistic.
“He’s progressing,” said Arteta, “but he had a significant injury so we don’t expect him to make progress quickly enough to see him again this season. Hopefully, I am wrong.
Despite a very good record against West Ham, Arenal travel to the London Stadium knowing this match represents a potential banana skin in the race for the top four.
The Hammers are unbeaten in their last six Premier League home matches and are trying to keep alive their own hopes of qualifying for Europe.