Team News: Latest On Vermaelen, Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere & Walcott

By on September 13, 2013

Premier League action returns this weekend as we travel to the north west to take on Sunderland and the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

The two week international break was as dull as ever and typically it saw a few injury scares for The Arsenal. The two main concerns were Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott who were both substituted during England’s dire 0-0 draw against Ukraine on Tuesday with Walcott a particular doubt after being on the wrong end of a disgraceful tackle to the back of his ankle, but the boss confirmed at his press conference on Thursday that the duo are ‘fully fit’ and available to face the Black Cats.

He has also been speaking to Arsenal.com today and there is less positive news on Tomas Rosicky who has been ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury playing for his country in midweek. It’s a real shame for Rosicky as he was finally looking 100% fit and has been playing his best football in recent years, but it does open the door for record signing Mesut Ozil to make his debut with Wenger telling reporters yesterday that the German has a ‘very good’ chance of featuring.

The boss also revealed that captain Thomas Vermaelen is close to making a first team comeback and could even be in the squad this weekend, but Wednesday seems like a more realistic return date.

Our striker opens look extremely limited though with Yaya Sanogo ruled out after picking up a back problem while away with the France Under-21 squad. Here is what Wenger told the clubs official website:

on Thomas Vermaelen…

Vermaelen is back in full training. He is very close to being available and he could be in the squad on Saturday. It is more likely to be Wednesday, but there is a possibility he might still travel on Friday to Sunderland.

on Tomas Rosicky…

He is out with a hamstring [issue].

on Yaya Sanogo…

Sanogo has a back problem. He came back from the first game of the France Under-21s with it. He is certainly out for Saturday.

Rosicky and Sanogo join Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Mikel Arteta on the sidelines so we’ll be taking another thin squad with us to Sunderland. While the signing of Ozil has certainly given everybody at the club a lift, the lack of depth in the squad remains a huge concern but hopefully we can get through until January when we can bring in a couple more bodies.

I’ll have my preferred starting eleven for the Sunderland game up shortly.