Arsenal team news: Wenger on Ozil, Cazorla, Coquelin, Sanchez + more

By on January 5, 2017


It’s been an extremely busy day at Arsenal HQ as Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal.com a full team news update ahead of our FA Cup third round clash with Preston this weekend so I thought I’d bring you a round-up.

Unfortunately the majority of the news is bad so let’s start from the top and Arsene confirmed a fresh concern with Lucas Perez a doubt to face Preston after picking up an ankle injury against Bournemouth.

Lucas scored a stunner to bring it back to 3-2 after coming on as a second half substitute at the Vitality Stadium and he would be been pushing to start on Saturday but sadly it looks like he might miss out.

Theo Walcott is close to making his comeback from a calf injury that’s kept him out for the last three games but the attacker won’t be ready to take on Preston while Kieran Gibbs will also sit this one out after failing to recover from a knee injury.

There was more bad news after Wenger confirmed that Francis Coquelin is expected to miss at least three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during the first half against Bournemouth.

The Frenchman is due to undergo a scan to find out the full extent of the problem but Arsene says a standard hamstring injury is usually at least three weeks so it looks like we’ll be without Coquelin for the rest of the month.

The timing couldn’t have been worse as not only has Mohamed Elneny gone off to the Africa Cup of Nations but Wenger also revealed that Santi Cazorla’s recovery is taking longer than expected.

santi cazorla

Cazorla has been out since aggravating an Achilles injury against Ludogorets back in October and was ruled out for two-to-three months after undergoing surgery in early December.

The boss says the Spaniard is still not able to resume light training yet as the injury is taking longer than expected to heel and it will be around six weeks before he’ll be available again when he does start to run again.

Therefore, it’s going to be at least the end of February before Santi is back in the first team and I personally wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see him until some time in March.

There was slightly better news regarding Mesut Ozil as the playmaker was back at London Colney today after missing the last two games with flu but Wenger won’t be rushing him back to face Preston this weekend.

Joining Ozil on the sidelines will be Laurent Koscileny and Alexis Sanchez as the boss has confirmed the duo will be rested on Saturday but David Ospina will come in for Petr Cech between the sticks.

Here is what Wenger told Arsenal.com:

on the team news…
Well, we might have a problem with Lucas because he injured his ankle and I have to see how he responds to that but that is the only problem we have from the game. Coming back, the closest is Walcott but he is still not ready, Gibbs will not be ready so I don’t think will be coming back into the squad.

on Coquelin…
He is out for three or four weeks now, it is his hamstring. I say three or four weeks because it is a hamstring and he came off, but maybe we will have good news. He will have a scan today, but I always count three weeks.

on Ozil…
He is coming in today, and will be assessed by the doctor but he has been in bed for two weeks so I cannot imagine I will involve him on Saturday. It is flu, a throat infection – I don’t know exactly.

on the squad he will take…
We will play with 90 per cent of the squad, I will rest Koscielny because he came off with fatigue, of course Ospina will play, maybe Alexis I will rest certainly, but the rest will play.

on Santi’s recovery…
At the moment, he is far [from returning]. It’s not going as quickly as I imagined it, so certainly in January he will not come back.

on whether it’ll now be more than three months before he returns…
It could be a bit longer. At the moment I don’t really know, but I just have a schedule that he is not planned at the moment to go outside and run. I think once a player goes outside and runs without any problems, you come six weeks. At the moment he has not been out so that’s why I say in January he will certainly not play.

So the squad is a bit of a mess heading in to the Preston game but thankfully the likes of Walcott, Gibbs, Perez, Ozil, Sanchez and Koscielny should all be back in action soon and hopefully they’ll be available to take on Swansea on January 14th.


  1. Pingback: Arsenal Fanatik » Arsenal team news: Wenger on Ozil, Cazorla, Coquelin, Sanchez + more

  2. Aubrey

    January 6, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Santiago, i wish you a quick recovery. we miss you so very much our magician.

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