Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media today ahead of his side’s Europa League semi-final clash against Unai Emery’s Villarreal tomorrow.
The Gunners are on a rough patch after picking up just one point from the games against Fulham and Everton. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney’s unavailability hasn’t helped, and Alexandre Lacazette limping off against the Cottagers added more salt to our wounds.
The trio are arguably three of our most important players. Auba and Laca are our two top scorers this season, while Tierney’s fantastic quality up and down the left flank is one of our biggest assets.
Arsenal have really struggled without the trio, but it looks like our luck is about to change. Arteta was asked about an update on injuries ahead of the game tomorrow, and he delivered some amazing news to the supporters.
He said, as per Football London: “They are all in contention, all of them. Including Aubameyang, including Laca, including Kieran.
“He (Tierney) didn’t need the surgery that we were afraid of. He’s been working like a beast every single day. I don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible.”
Massive boost for Arsenal
The first-leg against Villarreal tomorrow is undoubtedly our biggest game of this season. Our whole campaign depends on the Europa League now, and winning the competition is the only way we can salvage what has been a disastrous last eight months.
Lacazette has been in incredible form for us. He is our top scorer this season and his return is a massive boost. Auba, even though he hasn’t been at his best, is an extremely important player for us. He has shown that he can deliver in big games before. Hopefully, he can step up again tomorrow.
Tierney is in contention but it seems like a big risk at this point. We desperately need the Scotsman back, but rushing him for the game tomorrow might just be a silly move. Let’s wrap him up in cotton wool and get him ready for the second leg next week.