Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash at Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Gunners boss was asked questions on several topics during his pre-match press conference, including the fitness of some of his star players, Kai Havertz’s form and the ongoing goalkeeper situation at the club.
Here is a selection of what he had to say.
“Declan [Rice] wasn’t available and hasn’t trained yet, we have another session in an hour or two, we’ll have more news about him today. Gabi [Martinelli] hasn’t trained. We want him back, we need him back, but at the moment he hasn’t been available. Leo [Trossard] same situation, Bukayo [Saka], same situation. They are all in the same pool, Willy [Saliba] had a knock, Fabio [Vieira] wasn’t involved [against Brentford]. We have a few. We have to assess them today.”
On Saliba and Vieira
“Let’s see how everyone is today. They weren’t in the squad [against Brentford] for a reason and we need to assess them again today.”
On whether he hopes any of his injured players will return on Saturday
“My hope is that everyone is fit and available because we need them. What is coming in the next seven to 10 days, we need them.”
On how he can get the best out of Havertz
“Trying to help him as much as possible, be next to him, give him the tools, give him the confidence and give him the minutes to exploit his talent. There are so many parts of his game that he is doing exceptionally well, we know the one that needs to keep improving. As always, with any players, give him support, more tools and if they don’t perform, it’s up to us.”
On if he’s ever had a situation when he’s had two world class keepers in his team before
“When I was in Barcelona. My two keeps in the team were Victor Valdes and Pepe Raina. I was so safe. I looked back and I have Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes. I was like “we have a big chance to win the game”.
On Tomiyasu’s form
“I’ve always said I’m really confident that the moment Tomi has consistency, he will be a tremendous asset for us. He can play in any position in the backline, any formation. We don’t have a player like him.
“Defending, he is probably one of the best I’ve seen in many situations. His concept, his principles, the way he applies them, the way he goes into duels. If physically Tomi is at his best, we are going to have a player who is so important to us.”