Arsenal fans have a reason to smile on Thursday, as manager Arsene Wenger revealed centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is set to be back in the squad to take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.
“Shkodran is back in normal training and he will be back in the squad,” Wenger told the club’s website.
If he is deemed fit enough to play, it will mark his return from a hamstring injury that kept him out for the last three weeks.
Since joining Arsenal from Valencia for £35 million last summer, Mustafi has been excellent. The Gunners are undefeated with him in the first team, and lost two games in a row – against Everton and Manchester City – during his brief time on the sideline.
Although this comes as music to the ears of Arsenal fans, the feeling is slightly dampened by the fact that English left-back Kieran Gibbswill definitely miss Sunday’s game after suffering a knee injury during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Brom on Boxing Day.
“From the last game, I think we lose Kieran Gibbs,” Wenger admitted. “It’s not big damage to his knee but he has inflammation and I don’t think he will be available.”
Wenger also said Danny Welbeck is “doing well in training, so we have plenty of options,” which could be an indication that he’s closing in on a return to action.
Welbeck recently returned to training after undergoing knee surgery more than six months ago, although Wenger has previously stressed that he won’t be rushing the striker back.
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