Arsenal handed huge boost ahead of Sunday clash with West Ham United as star player returns to training
Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has returned to training in a timely boost for Mikel Arteta during the Premier League title run-in.
Nketiah had been out for over a month with an ankle injury, but was spotted in training at London Colney on Tuesday ahead of his return.
The 23-year-old aggravated his ankle injury during a cameo against Everton at the start of March but might possibly return to the team for this Sunday’s London derby against relegation-threatened West Ham.
And Nketiah’s recuperation is excellent news for boss Arteta ahead of a vital eight matches to conclude the season.
He has scored nine goals in all competitions this season and was a more than capable replacement for Gabriel Jesus during the Brazilian international’s lengthy hiatus with a knee-injury.
Arteta can now deploy the striker as an extra goalscoring option from the bench, with Jesus expected to continue leading the line as part of the powerful front three alongside Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
But Nketiah will face competition to obtain minutes in the last matches of the campaign with January addition Leonardo Trossard also thriving for Arteta in a central role.
But it appears Arteta will have to continue his push for the title without William Saliba, who is still not ready to make his return.
The French defender has been key to Arsenal’s success this season but has been sidelined with a back ailment ever since the Gunners were knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting CP on March 16.
His absence was a huge blow before Sunday’s exciting 2-2 against Liverpool at Anfield and he has still not returned to first-team training.
Arteta does not want to rush Saliba back from his injury and he is now a doubt once more for the away trip to West Ham.
The Gunners then face Southampton at home a week on Friday, before a possibly title-defining encounter at Manchester City on April 26.