Arsenal fans will be hoping for some good news on the injury front as they prepare to face Everton in the Premier League on Saturday. The Gunners have been plagued by injuries this season, with several key players missing significant chunks of the campaign.
Two of them are defenders William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who have both been sidelined since January with ankle and knee problems respectively. Here is the latest update on their recovery and expected return dates.
The 20-year-old French centre-back was signed by Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for £27 million, but spent last season on loan at his former club.
He returned to Arsenal this summer with high expectations, but suffered a setback in his first appearance for the club in a pre-season friendly against MK Dons.
He twisted his ankle and was ruled out for several weeks. He made his competitive debut for Arsenal in the Carabao Cup third round win over Leicester City in September, but aggravated his injury and had to undergo surgery.
He has been out of action ever since, but has recently resumed light training at London Colney. According to manager Mikel Arteta, he is making good progress and could be back in full training by the end of April.
He is unlikely to feature in any of the remaining games this season, but could be ready for the start of next season.
The 24-year-old Ukrainian left-back joined Arsenal from Manchester City in January on loan until the end of the season, with an option to buy. He was brought in to provide cover and competition for Kieran Tierney, who has also struggled with injuries this term.
Zinchenko made a positive impression in his first few games for Arsenal, showing his versatility and quality on the ball. However, he suffered a knee injury in the FA Cup fourth round defeat to Southampton in January and has not played since.
He underwent surgery in February and has been undergoing rehabilitation in Spain. He is expected to return to London soon and join his teammates in training.
Arteta has confirmed that he is ahead of schedule and could be available for selection before the end of the season. He will be hoping to impress Arteta and earn a permanent move to Arsenal in the summer.
Final Thoughts: Arsenal’s Defensive Woes Continue as Saliba and Zinchenko Struggle With Injuries
Arsenal’s defensive issues have been well-documented this season, and the prolonged absence of William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko has only added to their woes.
Saliba, who was signed for a significant fee in 2019, has yet to make an impact at the club due to a series of injuries. While he has resumed light training, it seems unlikely that he will feature in any of Arsenal’s remaining games this season.
However, the fact that he could be back in full training by the end of April is positive news, and he will be hoping to hit the ground running next season.
Zinchenko, on the other hand, was brought in on loan to provide cover for Kieran Tierney and add some much-needed depth to Arsenal’s defence. He made a positive impression in his first few games for the club, but his injury has kept him out for a significant amount of time.
The fact that he is ahead of schedule and could be available for selection before the end of the season is a boost for Arsenal, but it remains to be seen whether he will do enough to earn a permanent move to the club in the summer.
Overall, while the news regarding Saliba and Zinchenko is mixed, it highlights the ongoing defensive issues that Arsenal are facing. With several key players, including Tierney and David Luiz, struggling with injuries this season, it is clear that Arsenal need to invest in their defence if they are to improve next season.
As the transfer window approaches, Arsenal fans will be hoping that the club can bring in some quality reinforcements to shore up their backline.