Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has provided an injury update on Kieran Tierney and discussed the possibility of Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng returning to the squad after missing the last two matches for personal reasons.
Losing the key Scottish full-back to injury has proven fatal on a few occasions this season, with the victory over Southampton being scribbled down as the first time his presence wasn’t sorely missed.
Cedric Soares came in at left-back and put in his best display in an Arsenal shirt to date, pinging cross-field passes like they were going out of fashion and assuming the offensive responsibilities normally bestowed upon Kieran Tierney to the best of his abilities.
With Manchester United to come on Saturday, regardless of how Cedric impressed he remains a right-back at heart and, if fit, Tierney is one of the first names on the teamsheet. As it is, it doesn’t look like he will be.
Arsenal provide injury updates on Tierney, Partey, Smith Rowe and the latest on Aubameyang
"“I think Dani Ceballos will be training with the squad in the next few days, Pablo Mari probably as well,” Arteta said on the official Arsenal website. “Obviously, Martin Odegaard will be joining us as well. For the rest, we have to see how Kieran is.”"
Tierney is listed as a doubt, indicating that we’re set for another Portuguese masterclass at full-back on Saturday.
It’s a position that, if possible, would be great to filled this January transfer window, although realistically there are precious few options who are available, talented enough and willing to play second fiddle for six months. As it is, Cedric looks like getting the nod again.
Arsenal fans will also get a first glimpse of Martin Odegaard as he is set to link up with the matchday squad after taking part in training building up to the weekend. There were some rumours he arrived with an injury, all of which were dispelled by club sources who labelled the news as nonsense.
Given that, he could get himself a place on the bench. Or, maybe even from the start, after the news of Emile Smith Rowe’s injury concerns.