Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko could be set to return for the Europa League game vs PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night after Mikel Arteta’s positive injury update.
The Lowdown: Injury concerns
The Ukrainian hasn’t featured for the Gunners since the 3-1 Premier League victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the month.
The 25-year-old sustained a calf injury which has seen him miss the last three games, and there was cause for concern that he may miss the World Cup, though the boss has now firmly put those rumours to bed.
The Latest: Arteta’s fitness update
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Arteta confirmed that Zinchenko’s injury isn’t a long-term issue and insisted that he could be available for selection to face PSV alongside Gabriel Martinelli.
“No they are not ruled out, but we will see tomorrow what we decide.”
Asked if he was worried by his left-back’s problem, he said: “No, I don’t think so. Obviously, he had a current injury in his calf and that’s why he’s been out for this period.”
Further questioned on if he’d feature before the World Cup, the boss replied simply: “Yes.”
The Verdict: Boost for Arsenal
Should Zinchenko return for the Gunners tonight, it would be a huge boost for Arteta, who will know how much of an impact his summer arrival has had on the starting XI.
A ‘very good asset’, as dubbed by sports journalist Josh Bunting, the Ukraine star averages 1.8 tackles per league game and has one assist to his name in just five starts, alongside recording an 88.7% pass success rate (WhoScored).
Europa League victory over Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side would guarantee the Emirates outfit’s place in the competition’s knockout stages, and the potential comeback of Zinchenko would only increase the chances of that happening.
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