Politics

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka were not present during Arsenal’s pre-PSV training

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were absent from Arsenal’s final training session ahead of a Champions League clash against PSV. Mikel Arteta looked as though he had been handed a major boost with Emile Smith Rowe back with the team London Colney for the first time in six weeks, however no Saka or Martinelli was a concern.

football.london understands that Martinelli was unwell this morning and is therefore likely to remain in England. Meanwhile, Saka has a knock in his foot but is still expected to travel to the Netherlands. As for Smith Rowe, while he has returned to training, is it unclear whether he will make the matchday squad.

Both Saka and Martinelli have suffered injuries this season with the latter missing one month of action during September because of a hamstring issue. Saka has also picked up numerous knocks and niggles with one severe enough to keep him out of the 1-0 win against Manchester City, which was the game Martinelli returned and scored in.

Arteta will likely remain careful with Saka, given the issues he has already faced in the early stages of the 2023/24 campaign. Reiss Nelson is also a ready-made option to replace him and he will be eager to make a claim for more minutes given his lack of game time this season.

Martinelli potentially being unavailable could also give a chance to Leandro Trossard with Smith Rowe likely to only be ready for a cameo from the bench. Five players could also make their Champions League debut with Aaron Ramsdale hoping for just his third start in two months.

Academy stars Ethan Nwaneri, Lino Sousa, Reuell Walters and Charles Sagoe Jr were spotted at London Colney with Amario Cozier-Duberry and Myles Lewis-Skelly also hopeful of a matchday squad appearance.