Arsenal will be keeping out a concerned eye during the second international break of the 2021/22 campaign.
Despite not being in action domestically, a number of Mikel Arteta’s squad are set to travel around the world for the latest round of international fixtures and the Spaniard will hope they return unscathed.
The Gunners had shown green shoots of recovery ahead of the latest break having enjoyed a three-match winning run, whilst having also secured a point away to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Their results leave the team sitting 11th in the Premier League but just four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium for their first match after the international break and Arteta will hope he can call on all of his key players.
With that being said, football.london takes a look at the current state of the Arsenal squad from a fitness perspective as the international break gets underway.
Thomas Partey has struggled with a plethora of injury problems since joining from Atletico Madrid in October 2020.
The Ghanaian vice-captain missed the opening part of the current campaign after sustaining an ankle injury in a pre-season friendly against Chelsea before returning from the bench during the win against Norwich earlier this season.
He then again limped off against Burnley but the problem did not stop him from playing the full 90 minutes against Spurs or Brighton. Arsenal fans will hope that the 28-year-old stays fully fit during the break.
Whilst the news is positive for Partey, the outlook is not so promising for his midfield colleague Granit Xhaka.
The Swiss international has endured a rollercoaster start to the new campaign having been handed a three-match suspension for his red card against Manchester City, while he then tested positive for Covid-19.
Finally, back in contention, Xhaka was withdrawn with what looked to be a painful knee injury against Spurs and Arteta has since revealed he is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
Talking ahead of the Brighton clash, Arteta said: “We’re going to lose him for a while. We’ll try to keep him as close as possible to the team. He will evolve and develop in other areas. It’s the first big injury that he’s had. We are here to help him and I’m sure we’ll find some ways around it in the team because we have some really good players who can do the job.”
He has been left out of the Switzerland squad as they face clashes against Northern Ireland and Lithuania.
Arsenal fans held their breath as reigning player of the year Bukayo Saka limped off during the dying embers of the game at the Amex Stadium.
However, Arteta has since confirmed that the 20-year-old’s knock was nothing serious.
Asked about Saka’s injury, the Spaniard replied: “He’s fine. He got a knock but he should be fine.”
Still, the talented winger didn’t train with the rest of the England squad on Tuesday, taking part in a gym session instead. He took to Instagram to toast his return to Three Lions contention.
It hasn’t been a great start for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta looks to arrest the slide
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Elneny has suffered with some frustrating issues at the start of the campaign having missed the wins against Norwich City, Burnley and Spurs.
His knee injury appeared to have cleared up for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash with AFC Wimbledon but he has not been seen in a Premier League matchday squad.
However, with Xhaka out, he could be afforded an opportunity by Arteta in the coming weeks. First, he will hope to impress on international duty having been named in the Egypt squad for the current break.