Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mikel Arteta is back in the squad after recovering from a calf problem, Francis Coquelin is starting to run, while Santi Cazorla – who had a surgery on his knee – will be back in the team by mid-February. Currently seven players are out for the Gunners due to injury, but the side have managed to secure nine points from a possible 12 during the busy Christmas schedule.
The north London club returned strongly to secure wins over Bournemouth and Newcastle following a chastening experience against Southampton, where they were beaten 4-0 at St Mary's. Laurent Koscielny's goal saw against Newcastle saw the Gunners draw a clear gap between themselves and Leicester City, who drew against Bournemouth, to drop two points behind them. Meanwhile, Manchester City also managed to overcome a one goal deficit to win the game 2-1 in extra time against Watford to keep the pressure at the top.
However, they have a busy schedule ahead in the league and in Europe over the next two months. They will playing against Liverpool, Stoke City, Tottenham and Manchester United, before taking on Barcelona over two legs in a round of 16 tie in the Champions League.
"Francis Coquelin is starting to run, Santi Cazorla will be back in mid-February, and Mikel Arteta is back now," Wenger said, as quoted by talkSPORT, when asked about the current situation in the treatment room. Cazorla was previously pencilled in for a return in March, but Wenger suggested that the player may return early to help in the Gunners' title push.
Apart from that, Danny Welbeck is expected to be back by the end of January, Alexis Sanchez has a chance to feature against Sunderland in the FA Cup, Tomas Rosicky is likely to be back before the end of January, while Jack Wilshere has had a setback which will push his return to February.