Arsenal have been handed a triple fitness boost ahead of their first home game of the season against Leicester City, with Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith-Rowe all returning to training ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Foxes.
The Gunners got their season off to a winning start courtesy of a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, via a goal from Gabriel Martinelli and an own goal from Marc Geuhi, and they will be looking to make it two wins on the bounce as they welcome the Midlands side to the Emirates Stadium.
And, as per the London Evening Standard, they have been boosted by the return of right-back Tomiyasu, as well as new signing Fabio Vieira and forward Emile Smith-Rowe, all three of whom failed to take part in any of the pre-season friendlies or the opening clash.
Ben White filled in at right-back in Tomiyasu’s absence, and is likely to do so once more on Saturday as the Japanese defender returns to full fitness. However, the return of Smith-Rowe and the addition of Vieira will hand Mikel Arteta more options to freshen up a side that looked to tire in the second half at Selhurst Park.
Whether all three players will be in the matchday squad remains to be seen, with the report adding that ‘of the three, Vieira is the most likely to struggle to make the squad as Arsenal are carefully increasing the intensity of his workouts after a foot injury’.
Tielemans in the spotlight
Much of the summer speculation has surrounded Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, who is expected to start for the Foxes at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, having been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium all summer.
“Of course, it is in the back of the mind, that sort of what-if scenario,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers ahead of their opening clash with Brentford. “But I know he doesn’t want anything to drag on, either.
“The conversation was really good, really open, really honest and we both know where it’s at. He’s here, and he gets that respect, and we continue to work with him until I’m told otherwise.”
With 12 months left on his contract, any deal for Tielemans with Arsenal is likely to come closer to the deadline, with his pricetag continuing to fall. Should he not leave before September 1st, Leicester City will lose him for free unless he agrees a new deal, something that at present seems unlikely.
Saturday could be the perfect opportunity to offer a timely reminder of just why Arsenal want him.