Arsenal boss confirms huge double fitness boost but key man could miss Palace trip

By on March 31, 2022


Mikel Arteta has provided a positive update on Bukayo Saka and Takehiro Tomiyasu but Aaron Ramsdale remains a major doubt for Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace.

We head to Selhurst Park on Monday night after the international break and the boss spoke to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon.

The Spaniard confirmed that Saka is ‘feeling good’ after being forced to withdraw from the England squad having tested positive for covid. The attacker is due to take part in training today so should be available for the Palace game.

Arteta also had some positive news on Tomiyasu. The full-back has been on the sidelines for several weeks with calf injuries and reports suggested he was unlikely to feature at Selhurst Park on Monday night.

However, the boss has given hope he could still play after saying Tomiyasu ‘will be close’. The Japan international has built up his fitness in training during the break and will take part in training sessions ahead of the game. The Arsenal physios will assess him before making a decision over his availability to face Palace.

The final update from Arteta was on Ramsdale’s fitness. The Arsenal number one missed the win over Aston Villa before the international break after picking up a hip injury against Liverpool earlier this month.

Ramsdale was subsequently forced to withdraw from the England squad with what Arteta has described as a ‘significant’ injury and he remains a doubt for the trip to Palace on Monday.


The club will still assess Ramsdale in training over the coming days and will do everything to try and get him fit for the game, but Bernd Leno is on stand-by to deputise between the sticks.

Arteta told Arsenal.com:

on Tomiyasu’s fitness…
I think it will be close. He’s been training more and more. He has the boys back now, so he will be joining some sessions this week, and let’s see how it is.

on Tomiyasu’s recovery and why it’s taken longer than expected…
He had a recurring injury, but in the other calf, which was a strange and difficult to predict. He’s been through a lot in the last two years with all the Covid and the amount of games that he’s played. The transition to a different league with the intensity – it’s completely different. We can find the right reasons and hopefully don’t go through that situation again because especially for him it’s been tough.

on Saka and Ramsdale’s fitness…
Bukayo is feeling good, he’s training today hopefully, if he is still feeling as he was yesterday and Aaron is a doubt. He’s still feeling not great. He hasn’t trained yet so we don’t know what he will be able to do on Monday.

on Ramsdale’s injury…
He wanted to play against Aston Villa but it was a significant injury and he had to take his time. The physios are doing everything they can to make him available but we will see in the next few days when he starts to do more real training.

It’s great that Saka is expected to be available, and let’s pray Tomiyasu and Ramsdale manage to prove their fitness too as this is a huge game for Arsenal.

We head to Selhurst Park just three points ahead of Tottenham in fourth, so we desperately need a win to tighten our grip on the final Champions League spot.

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