Mikel Arteta hails 'fantastic week' ahead of Arsenal vs Leicester
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta attends a press conference at London Colney on August 04, 2022 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Manager Mikel Arteta sat down at London Colney and spoke about the latest injury concerns, recent departures, the Tierney to Man City rumours and much more.

Arsenal host Brendan Rodgers' Leicester on Saturday in north London and the Gunners have won their last three match-ups against the Foxes, only conceding one goal.

The injury report

Arteta had some good and bad news for Arsenal fans as Takehiro Tomiyasu, Keiran Tierney, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe are among Arsenal's injury doubts ahead of the Leicester game.

"The injured players have been reintegrated back into training, they are in different phases and some of them will be in the squad tomorrow.

One player who could make the starting lineup is Scotland's set-piece specialist, Tierney.

"He played 15-20 minutes last weekend and he did really well after being out for a long time after the knee injury, he looks in perfect condition now and ready to work," the manager said.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta talks to Kieran Tierney during a training session at London Colney on August 12, 2022 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta talks to Kieran Tierney during a training session at London Colney on August 12, 2022 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arteta also explained what Smith Rowe needs to do to get back into the starting eleven, where Gabriel Martinelli is doing well at the moment.

"He needs to stay fit, train well and play at the level he can perform at."

Reiss Nelson, however, has picked up an injury that could force him out for a while.

"He felt something in training, we scanned and the doctor came back with some bad news, It's a muscular injury and hopefully he will be back soon.

"We need to do some more tests and then hopefully next week we will have some more information."

"A 'fantastic' week"

Arteta seemed optimistic as he recalled a productive week in North London.

"The boys have been training fantastically well, the weather conditions have helped a lot, we've had a busy week with some players leaving the club," he said.

Both Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira, who didn't play a single minute this pre season, left for Fulham and Galatasaray this week. Academy star Folarin Balogun left on loan to French side Reims.

But more deals could materialise before the transfer window shuts, Arteta suggests.

"We had to move the squad a lot and we are still willing to finalise the squad the way that we want, we can add in something great but there are also a few players that we need to find the right game plan for them."

When asked if the recent rumours that Man City might try to take Tierney off their books, the manager bluntly replied:

"No and you know that I'm not going to be commenting on individual players."

The 'non-negotiables'

Arteta's now infamous 'non-negotiables' – rules everyone at the club must abide by – were also discussed. 

"It is the first thing that we talk about, what we are going to expect from them and what they are going to expect from the club, what our values are, how we like to behave and that we are here to have enjoyment, it's our passion and its what we love doing and in order to do that we have to get on well," Arteta said.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is believed to have been stripped of the captaincy and left out of the first team squad as a result of numerous breaches to these 'non-negotiables'.

Arteta, however, had only good things to say about his former captain.

"I'm really happy with where we are as a club and the people we have here.

"Aubameyang is an exceptional player and was brilliant for us."

"We'll have to adapt to the heat"

An unusual challenge both Arsenal and Leicester will face on Saturday is the heat, which could hit a devastating 36 degrees.

"We have to adapt and be prepared mentally to play in those conditions as it's not something we do normally, we have the five subs as well which is very helpful."

With temperatures set to test both sides in north London, it will be a new challenge for Arteta and Rodgers to navigate.

Arsenal welcome Leicester to the Emirates stadium tomorrow 3pm, and you can catch all the news, views and updates right here on VAVEL. 

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