July 13, 2024

Arsenal Receives Injury Boost Ahead Of Pre-season

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Arsenal are thought to be taking a highly cautious approach with Saliba’s rehabilitation.

FILE PHOTO: Arsenal will begin the pre-season matches with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel Martinelli and Mohamed Elneny having fully recovered. PICTURE: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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LONDON: Four Arsenal players are reportedly set to return from injury in time for the Gunners’ pre-season programme.

Mikel Arteta’s squad was decimated by physical problems at the business end of the 2022-23 campaign, as their title challenge slowly petered out in the final few weeks of the season.

Despite leading the way for 248 days, Arsenal were forced to accept second place behind Manchester City, who were crowned champions as the Gunners lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest on the final matchday.

Arteta’s men ultimately finished five points behind the Citizens courtesy of a 5-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day, and the Gunners will be playing Champions League football next season for the first time in seven seasons.

Ahead of their return to the top tier of European football, Arsenal are scoping out the transfer market as Arteta aims to bolster his squad depth, having seen his side’s form take a turn for the worse following injuries to a few key players in 2022-23.

At the same time, the Arsenal medical team are working to heal their current injured crop, and according to reports as many as four players should be fit and raring to go for their pre-season schedule next month.

Gabriel Martinelli, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny are supposedly all on track to be fit for the summer months, having suffered issues of differing severity throughout the season.

Tomiyasu and Elneny were two of Arsenal’s longer-term absentees with knee injuries, while the latter also struggled with a thigh issue which kept him out of the opening weeks of the season.

Elneny played just 103 minutes of Premier League football before sustaining his knee problem, which triggered Arsenal’s deadline-day move for Jorginho in January, although he was still handed a one-year contract extension until 2024 earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Tomiyasu – who has been plagued by several injury problems in North London – picked up his season-ending affliction against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League and sat out Arsenal’s final 11 matches of the top-flight campaign.

Arsenal’s defensive injury concerns mounted when Zinchenko was taken off with a calf injury against Newcastle United on May 7, which saw him sit out the last three game weeks of the season and rendered him unavailable for Ukraine’s fixtures with Germany, Malta and North Macedonia in June.

One week after Zinchenko’s enforced withdrawal, Martinelli damaged his ankle in a challenge from Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo, and Arteta admitted at the time that the issue would take weeks to heal.

While those four players are making strong progress in their recoveries, the report does not mention William Saliba (back), and Arsenal are thought to be taking a highly cautious approach with his rehabilitation.

For the second year running, Arsenal will begin pre-season against German side Nurnberg on July 13 before travelling to the USA, where they face an MLS All-Stars XI on July 19.

Manchester United and Barcelona then lie in wait on July 22 and 26 respectively, before Arteta’s side defend the Emirates Cup against Ligue 1 giants Monaco on August 2.

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