Arsenal are inching ever closer to having a fully-fit squad for the first time this season.
Francis Coquelin and Lucas Pérez have today returned to full training as they continue their respective comebacks from injury, ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League fixture at home to Bob Bradley’s Swansea City next weekend.
Coquelin had been absent from the starting lineup since picking up a knee injury in the 3-0 win against Chelsea at the Emirates next month, and while there were initial fears that he could be out for the rest of 2016, scans showed that this was absolutely not the case.
The French midfielder, according to the Mirror, is in line to return against Swansea but it remains to be seen if manager Arsene Wenger will throw him back in at the deep end – summer signing Grant Xhaka has been starting in his absence so the safest thing to do from their point of view would probably be to continue the Swiss international’s partnership with Santi Cazorla in midfield until such time as Coquelin is 100% raring to go.
Pérez, a £17m summer signing from Deportivo La Coruna, could also return on Saturday. The 28-year-old has been used sparingly by Wenger since arriving at the club and missed the win against Burnley (also with a knee injury), but given the fact that he scored twice in his last appearance – the 4-0 EFL Cup win at Nottingham Forest – the forward will be desperate to play some part against Swansea.
Less, however, is known about the fitness status of either Olivier Giroud or Aaron Ramsey. Neither had returned to full training by this weekend, and while they were both pencilled in to be part of the Swansea match, it seems unlikely that Wenger will fill the matchday squad with that many returning players.
That’s assuming Giroud and Ramsey would even be fit enough to play some part in the game.