Arsenal star Nacho Monreal has hinted that he will return to action against Tottenham in the North London Derby on Sunday on social media.
The left-back, who has missed recent wins over Ludogorets and Sunderland, has been replaced by Kieran Gibbs in the team due to injury but the Spaniard has subtly told fans he is back and ready to go.
The International Business Times have reported that the 30-year-old will undergo a late fitness test, alongside Theo Walcott and Gibbs, but Santi Cazorla remains a big doubt for what will be a colossal encounter.
Hector Bellerin will also need to undergo checks for an ankle injury sustained in training prior to the mid-week European clash.
“Gibbs has been touched in his shoulder and we don’t know how he will respond to that, we will see today after the players who did not travel [to Sofia] like Cazorla, like Walcott,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told reporters.
“There is still some uncertainty today. The closest at the moment looks to be Walcott but we will have a definite test with him today.
“Hector has a test. I left him behind because I was cautious with him. I could have basically forced the issue a little bit; he could have played in Bulgaria. But I think he should be alright. [Monreal] has tests today and tomorrow and then we will decide.
Cazorla has not practised yet but we will try and go out today and see where we go from there. He’s a doubt.
Mohamed Elneny has coped well in Cazorla’s stead, but neither he nor Francis Coquelin are able to be as effective defensively and offensively as the former Malaga midfielder.
There is further bad news for the Gunners, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be able to welcome back Harry Kane into their squad following six weeks out of action with an ankle issue.
Kane’s inability to feature in Tottenham’s starting eleven has had a dire consequence for Spurs’s striking accuracy, with Vincent Janssen and Heung Min-Son failing to fire without their leading marksman to guide them.
“It’s not a risk – the doctor says he is fine,” said Pochettino.
“We had many, many small problems [in October] – maybe November and December can be fantastic months for us.
“I need to decide if he is in the starting XI or on the bench. We’re very happy – yesterday [Thursday] he had a very good training session. He’s fit.
“It’s important – the last few seasons he’s been very important for us. It’s important he is fit, important for the club.”
However, fans of Arsenal will be pleased to hear that one of the league’s best players in Toby Alderweireld is still not ready to return to the pitch.
“He’s close but won’t be ready until after the international break and isn’t in the Belgian squad,” said Pochettino.
Moussa Dembele could miss out after going off in the 1-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley injured, while Erik Lamela is also unlikely to play in game which Mauricio Pochettino is yet to lose since arriving at Tottenham.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.