Whilst Arsenal have 10 first-team players at the World Cup, those not selected have enjoyed a mini break to recuperate from a busy start to the season.
But it’s almost time to get back to work. It was revealed that following the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Wolves earlier in the month, the players not travelling to Qatar would be given 10 days off before beginning preparations for the resumption of domestic football with a friendly at London Colney against Watford
With that time frame in mind, if the Arsenal players in question haven’t already begun to filter back to the training ground, then that’s likely to be the case over the next few days as manager Mikel Arteta looks to ensure those not at the World Cup are raring to go when the campaign resumes on Boxing Day against West Ham United.
Although what might have slipped under the radar are those friendlies which took place across the globe before the World Cup got underway last Sunday as Martin Odegaard, Kieran Tierney, Mohamed Elneny and Fabio Vieira all featured for their respective nations, so they might get an extra few days off.
Whether this break comes will benefit the Gunners in the long-term remains to be seen but Arteta will be able to do extra work on the training pitch with as many as 13 first-team players, welcome one back from injury and also call up a number of the club’s promising youngsters.
Interestingly, this group will feature only one of the Gunners’ three senior goalkeepers as Aaron Ramsdale and Matt Turner have been called up by England and USA respectively, which leaves Karl Hein. In addition, central defenders Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding will also be around.
Elsewhere, Portuguese full-back Cedric Soares will have a chance to earn some minutes having barely featured so far this season, whilst the battle at left-back will continue between Tierney and Oleksandr Zinchenko as both Scotland and Ukraine failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Emile Smith Rowe was pencilled in for a return to training in December following groin surgery but he’s revealed he’s ahead of schedule: “Hopefully [I’ll be back] by the first game after the World Cup,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m actually out here doing rehab, today was my day off, I’m back training tomorrow. I’m back on the pitch, it’s going well.”
The Arsenal number 10 along with Odegaard,Vieira,Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny will be the other available midfielders.
Arsenal’s forward line has slightly been affected with Brazil deciding to select Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli in their World Cup squad, so Arteta will need to call up a few youngsters to train alongside Marquinhos, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson upon their return.