Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has revealed that Declan Rice, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Bakayo Saka have not been training and could miss the game against Bournemouth.
Speaking to the media via the Express, Arteta provided a grim update regarding the four players who have been vital in the Spanish manager’s success so far in the current campaign.
“He [Rice] hasn’t trained yet. We have another session in an hour or two. More news today. Martinelli hasn’t trained, Trossard, same situation. Saka, same situation.”
Arsenal will take on Bournemouth away from home on Saturday in what could be a crunch match for the Gunners early on in the season due to Manchester City’s perfect start in the Premier League so far.
Arteta’s team have dropped points twice already this season, with draws against Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. In the match versus Spurs, Rice had to be taken off at half-time after suffering a back injury while Saka was substituted before the end of the game with a knock.
Martinelli was the go-to player for Arsenal on the left wing at the start of the season, but the Brazil international picked up a muscle issue in the first half against Everton earlier this month and has not played since.
As for Trossard, he has been an impact player for the Gunners since making the move from Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2023 and has scored some important goals for Arteta’s team in recent months. However, the Belgian has been on the sidelines since the 4-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.
In the absence of Rice, Jorginho will arguably be the one to start for Arsenal in the midfield since Thomas Partey is also out of action. The Italy international had a howler against Tottenham but was much more calm and composed in the Carabao Cup win over Brentford.
In the attack, Gabriel Jesus looks to be back to full fitness after missing the initial part of the season and Arteta can also call upon Kai Havertz, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe to play in one of the forward positions if Saka, Martinelli and Trossard aren’t passed fit.
Arsenal will assess the quartet ahead of the Bournemouth game and make a late decision over their fitness. However, Arteta will hope he has enough firepower to see off Bournemouth even without some of his key stars.