Arteta rules Saliba out of Leeds clash but is hopeful for Partey
Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Saturday against Leeds hoping to continue their eight-point lead at the top of the table. However, they will be without their key centre-back.
William Saliba sustained an injury during Arsenal's Europa League clash with Sporting CP before sitting out their 4-1 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace. The 22-year-old was pulled out of France's squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers. Mikel Arteta admits the French centre-back is still not ready to make his injury return yet.
The Spaniard told his pre-match press conference:
"He is progressing but still has some discomfort in his back.
"He's not going to be fit for this game.
"We're doing everything to get him back feeling better, but he is not ready yet.
"We're very hopeful [he will return soon] and he is as well. Back injuries are tricky in terms of how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas.
"Let’s push it and see how he copes with that. He's so willing to be back in the team. We're very positive and pushing it every day, seeing how the pain develops."
Thomas Partey missed Ghana's 1-1 draw with Angola for precautionary reasons last week. However, Arteta hopes to have him available on Saturday.
"We're positive about him. Hopefully he'll be back,"
On Gabriel Jesus, Arteta added:
"He's close to 100 per cent.
"He's taken a big step forward in recent days, creating chaos in training. He's in a really good place."
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