William Saliba injury worries eased after Arsenal make training ground introduction

William Saliba injury worries have been quelled as Arsenal look to take on the Premier League title run with reinforced depth

Nearly a year ago to the day Arsenal lost arguably the biggest shining star of their return to the Premier League title race, William Saliba. The Frenchman along with Takehiro Tomiyasu suffered injuries during their second leg Europa League last-16 tie against Sporting CP.

Dumped out of the competition on penalties, licking their wounds, Arsenal would go on to drop more points as absence of Saliba and Tomiyasu would damage the long-built-up defensive fortitude and nullify their ambitions. So far, Arsenal have avoided defensive disaster despite the fact they had lost Jurrien Timber, the man brought in to provide depth and prevent the depth issues of the previous season.

That is all about to change, however, with the Dutch international closing in on his return whilst both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko too are close to making their comebacks. These come at the perfect time for the club who will have 10 games remaining after the international break as the business end of the season arrives.

The first, a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City. This was a fixture in which William Saliba was not available to play, just like at Anfield in the run-in too.

rsenal dropped five points across both games and Rob Holding started alongside Gabriel Magalhaes too. Compare this to when City visited the Emirates Stadium earlier in the season and Saliba finally faced Pep Guardiola’s side, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.

Arteta confirmed following the 6-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend that Tomiyasu had already returned to the grass. A big boost considering the soon-to-renew defender’s own absence meant that with Saliba out Ben White was unable to move inside to cover forcing Holding into the title-chasing side.

He’s very close,” Arteta said. “He’s already doing something on the grass and hopefully we’re going to have him very close with us.”

Holding would leave the following summer for Crystal Palace. The 27-year-old, entering what should be his prime years, was sold for just £4million and has since made zero appearances in the Premier League with just one match played in a 3-0 League Cup defeat to Manchester United.

This certainly provides some insight into exactly what the club lost in Saliba and Tomiyasu but now it seems the pair can reunite and already have done at the training ground. In fact, the biggest problem Arteta might have no is how he intends to get as many minutes into his squad as possible and the decisions to leave some senior players out of the squad entirely.

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