Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during an Arsenal press conference

Mikel Arteta on Arsenal team news, Saka’s injury and Odegaard’s new contract

Mikel Arteta has given a team news update ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash at Everton on Sunday and given his thoughts about a new contract for captain Martin Odegaard.

The Gunners had 16 players away with their national teams during the international break and Arteta was asked during his pre-match press conference whether they had all come back unscathed.

“They all came back well,” he said. “They all trained today so they are in a good place.

“[Thomas Partey] is still a few weeks away. He has a muscle injury, he is progressing well, but he is still a few weeks away. 

“The rest are still available.”

When asked about Bukayo Saka’s fitness, amid reports of the winger struggling with an ongoing Achilles issue, Arteta added: “He’s fine. 

“He trained normally today. There’s nothing to report.

“Every player has pain or issues, but there is nothing to worry about.”

Arteta also admitted he was ‘optimistic’ that Odegaard would soon sign a new deal, with contract talks ongoing with the Gunners skipper.

“He’s our captain, a massive player for us,” Arteta said. “A really important player for now and the future.

“We are happy to have him and keep him for a long time.

“I’m always optimistic. We’re really close with him and his agent. Whenever that’s confirmed we will announce it.”