Arsenal have been handed a major boost on the eve of their Premier League campaign, as Mikel Arteta has now revealed that Oleksandr Zinchenko will be fit for the clash against Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners will welcome Steve Cooper’s side to the Emirates in the early kick-off on Saturday afternoon, with Arsenal looking to build upon their victory in the Community Shield.
A number of players were missing in the clash at Wembley, including Zinchenko and Jorginho, but Arteta has now confirmed that both will be back.
Zinchenko missed the last few games of last season, as well as the entirety of pre-season with injury, but could feature in the matchday squad for the opening game.
Speaking in his press conference, Arteta claimed that the Ukrainian, alongside a few others including Reiss Nelson, will be available, with it initially being unclear whether he would be fit to return.
“I think everybody is going to be available, obviously we have more still out, and Gabriel Jesus is still with an injury, but the rest should be fine,” he stated.
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Could Zinchenko start tomorrow?
Despite being available for the match, it would be a major surprise if the 26-year-old is thrown straight back into the action.
New signing Jurrien Timber started at left-back in his absence at the Community Shield, and performed superbly despite it not being his natural role.
It is anticipated that Timber will continue in the role with a start tomorrow, and given Zinchenko’s lack of match fitness, it seems unlikely that he will be put at risk for another injury now that Arsenal have the depth to cope with his absence.
Given Arsenal’s strong depth now, it remains to be seen who is left off the 9-man bench tomorrow, but Arteta may want to bring Zinchenko on in the second half so he can build up fitness for the upcoming season.