Mikel Arteta reveals mixed Arsenal team news ahead of Slavia Prague clash

Arsenal have received mixed news on the injury front ahead of Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague.

Bukayo Saka came off during Sunday’s 3-0 win at Sheffield United with a thigh injury, while Emile Smith Rowe missed the match with an ankle issue, but both are available for the midweek clash in the Czech Republic.

Mikel Arteta is still waiting on captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (illness) and Martin Odegaard (ankle) after both missed training on Tuesday

Asked if they will train on Wednesday, he replied: “It depends how they wake up. Yesterday none of them could train. Hopefully today it is a sunnier day so maybe it is better.

“I don’t know, we have to see today how they are. We still have a couple of other ones as well from the last few days, so we’ll have to see how everybody is today and after training how they react for tomorrow’s game.”

Arsenal look set to keep hold of highly-rated 19-year-old Folarin Balogun, with the young forward “very close” to signing a new deal at the Emirates.

The striker had looked likely to leave the club on a free this summer, with his current contract due to expire on June 30, but he is now expected to commit his long-term future to the Gunners.

Arteta said: “We will make it official when it is official and everything is done.

“As I said before, I have always been positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club, so we are very close.”

Balogun scored his first senior goal in Arsenal’s Europa League victory over Molde in November.


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