Mikel Arteta says injured winger Gabriel Martinelli is still being assessed ahead of Sunday’s North London derby.
The 22-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win over Everton last weekend and missed Thursday’s trouncing of PSV Eindhoven.
Ahead of that game, Arteta said the medical team were still looking into the seriousness of the player’s muscular issue. It sounds as though that’s an ongoing situation.
Thomas Partey will miss the game as he continues his recovery from a muscular injury of his own.
“With Gabi we are still assessing him so let’s see if he can make the game or not,” said Arteta on Friday.
“Thomas for sure is out and the rest are hopefully available. We still have two training sessions but there were no big issues in midweek.”
Pressed on whether Martinelli is ruled out, Arteta replied, “No.”
Honestly, we suspect the manager is trying to put Sp*rs off the scent ahead of a crunch game. Even though the Brazilian is a key player for Arteta, with the strength in depth at our disposal there’s no need to rush a player back if he’s not fully fit. You certainly don’t want to mess around with hamstring issues knowing how badly they can be exacerbated.
In all likelihood, Leo Trossard, who has two goals and an assist this week will continue on the left flank with Reiss Nelson an option off the bench.