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Team News: Wenger on Sanchez, Koscielny, Wilshere, Welbeck & More
It’s been another busy day of team news at Arsenal HQ so I’ll bring you a round-up of all the updates from Arsene Wenger.
The boss held his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning and gave Arsenal.com a full update on several of the squad ahead of our trip to Watford on Saturday.
The big concern is over Alexis Sanchez after the attacker played in both of Chile’s World Cup qualifiers over the international break, despite the fact he was carrying a hip injury.
Alexis showed no sign of discomfort after scoring three goals in those two games and he’s indicated that he’s fine but Arsene is anxious to check the player’s condition when he returns to North London.
There was some positive news regarding Laurent Koscielny as the defender is back in full training after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Arsene confirmed the French international will undergo a late fitness test but I hope we don’t push him back too soon. The last thing we want is to see him aggravate the injury.
We had some further good news with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini both passed fit to return to the squad after recovering from hamstring injuries, but I think a place on the bench is the best they can hope for this weekend.
The boss also gave an update on Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck and says the pair are recovering well from their respective surgeries.
Curiously, the Arsenal.com website didn’t quote Arsene as saying that Wilshere was ‘at least one month away’ from returning to action, but I’ve seen this quote in several newspapers. [See the quotes here]
Jack was initially not expected back until Christmas so perhaps Arsene let slip he’s ahead of schedule but didn’t really want it made public, so asked the clubs website not to include it in their article.
Either way, Wilshere won’t be playing for the foreseeable future while Welbeck isn’t expected back until the New Year.
Here is the update Arsene told Arsenal.com:
on team news…
The only thing today is Koscielny has a definite test to see if he is available or not. At the time Arteta and Flamini will be certainly will certainly be available for selection. We have three players who could come back and be available again and I don’t think we lost anybody from our last game.
on Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck…
They are progressing well. Danny Welbeck at the earliest will be back [at the] beginning of January.
on Alexis playing for Chile not fully fit…
I cannot do a lot about it. He came off as you have seen against Manchester United with a hip problem, a problem with the rotator muscle and he wanted to go. He played in the last two games and we have to see how he comes back but it is always a tricky situation Chile are trying to qualify for the World Cup and he is an important player for them but they will use him if they can. He is a guy that always wants to play so I knew that was always going to be a tricky situation.