Arsenal have received a big boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Stoke City with the return of Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard is yet to feature this season after suffering an injury in training days before the opener against Aston Villa. The Gunners went to lose their opening games but have recovered well to win their next six games, including the 2-1 victory over Marseille in the Champions League.
Arsenal’s squad has been reduced to the bare minimum with injuries ravaging the squad and Arteta’s return could not have come at a better time. Arsene Wenger is currently selecting the same eleven with little option for rotation and Arteta’s return will give another player a rest, with Jack Wilshere in particular in need of a breather.
The club received no bad news from the Marseille game with Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud only just passed fit to play.
“We have no injuries from the Marseille game. The only player who could come back in the squad is Arteta, who come in to full training today. I’ll have to make the decision about him on tomorrow morning.”
“We are happy to have him back as well because at the moment with the number of injuries we have, we are a bit short and we have plenty of games in front of us, so it’s good news.”
It’s unclear whether Wenger will use the vice-captain from the bench or to start. But considering Arteta is the captain, I won’t be too surprised if Flamini drops down to the bench for Arteta.