After a relentless schedule over the past month that has seen Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal juggle Europa League commitments with key Premier League fixtures, there’s finally a chance to take stock.
The 38-year-old coach has plenty to think about after the Gunners’ poor performance in their 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa last time out, and will be hard at work to put things right over the international break
While he’s without key players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno, who are away with their respective countries, he still has plenty of senior first-team players to work with at London Colney.
Here are four in particular who could benefit from some extra time on the training pitch with the Gunners coach ahead of the next Premier League fixture against Leeds United after the break.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will auto-play soon8Cancel
The 21-year-old central midfielder is yet to play a minute in the Premier League this season, but there’s an argument he’s exactly what they’ve been lacking this season.
He’s impressed in the recent Europa League outings, scoring in the wins over Dundalk and Molde, with a lively, man-of-the-match display against the latter in particular.
A genuinely creative midfield presence, the next fortnight offers Arteta a chance to guide the youngster in exactly what he’s looking for in terms of pressing and positional discipline, after Willock was not included in the England U21 squad.
Having been frozen out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads, it looks increasingly likely that one-time record signing Mesut Ozil has made his final appearance for the club ahead of his contract expiring next summer.
Even if there’s a dramatic U-turn from Arteta, he won’t be able to feature until January, but this could be the former Germany international’s last…