Mikel Arteta says it’s too early to make a decision on who will and won’t be fit to face Brentford despite suggestions from the Ukrainian national team that Oleksandr Zinchenko has suffered a calf injury.
While the versatile left-back has ruled himself out of upcoming international matches against Scotland and Armenia, the boss was coy on the extent of the problem and whether his summer signing will have to sit out Sunday’s clash at the Community Stadium.
“We have to wait until tomorrow to make that decision,” he said. “Where he was in that moment and what we have decided to do for him on the international week doesn’t mean that we’re going to say the same for the weekend. It’s something we will address tomorrow.”
Is it a simple case of mind games with the Bees or does he think the Ukrainian’s injury isn’t that bad after all? We’ll have to wait and see.
On other team news, he added: “Unfortunately, that day [for team news] will be tomorrow when we have the last training session, today there’s not much to give.
“We have still those 24 hours to see if one or two can be considered tomorrow for training and for sure selection and that will be key in the next 24 hours.”
Thomas Partey is understood to have returned to full training since Arsenal faced FC Zurich last week and could be in contention to take over from Sambi Lokonga in the centre of midfield.
There are also question marks over Cedric and Emile Smith Rowe while Mohamed Elneny is a long-term absentee after suffering a bad hamstring injury.
On Smith Rowe, he said: “That’s been an ongoing issue that he’s had. He’s had some discomfort in the groin area and hasn’t had any continuity this season. We’re trying to help him in any way we can because we need him.”
Arteta did make clear that Ben White is fit when it was asked if the player wasn’t selected by England due to an injury.