Arsenal Boost: Emery Confirms Key Man Is Available To Face Chelsea

By on August 16, 2018

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Arsenal have received a major boost as Unai Emery has confirmed Nacho Monreal is available for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Arsenal’s options at left-back have been stretched in recent weeks as Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out until October with a knee injury that the Bosnian international suffered in pre-season.

Monreal missed the opening weekend defeat to Manchester City after only recently overcoming his own knee problem that he picked up while away with Spain at the World Cup earlier in the summer.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was drafted in to start at left-back against Pep Guardiola’s men but the 20-year-old limped off midway through the first half and it’s been confirmed he’s out for up to two months with a fractured leg.

Right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner replaced Maitland-Niles at the weekend and Emery has said the Switzerland international is an option to fill-in against Chelsea on Saturday.

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However, the Gunners boss has also confirmed that Monreal is available again after returning to full training with the rest of the squad this week so he could make his first appearance of the season at Stamford Bridge.

When discussing his options at left-back, Emery told Arsenal.com:

“It’s clear that we don’t want to have injuries in the team. When you want to play and be competitive, they can arrive.

“The first injury with Kolasinac was important because I think he was playing well in pre-season. But we needed to play with another player like Ainsley [once Kolasinac was injured].

“His performance can improve, he can get better in his career in the team. Maybe not especially at left back, but he was playing well in the first 25 minutes on Sunday. After this injury, I tried with Lichtsteiner, who is a player with experience. He can play at left back but his position in the team is more at right back.

“This week Nacho Monreal is working every day, training every day with us. The two options we have now are Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner to continue in this position.”

We’ll have to wait and see who Emery goes with at left-back but if Monreal is deemed fit you’d assume the Spaniard will get the nod as his return to fitness is a huge boost for Arsenal.

Emery has also confirmed that Petr Cech will keep his place between the sticks this weekend so Bernd Leno will have to wait a little longer to make his competitive debut for the north Londoners.

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