Per Mertesacker is set to return to Arsenal after completing rehabilitation for his knee injury he suffered in pre-season. The defender had to undergo surgery on his knee and is likely to be available for selection next year.
The Gunners are well stocked in defence with Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi manning the back four, with Rob Holding and Gabriel as back-ups. However, the Gunners will be without Hector Bellerin for the trip to Manchester United, who is set to miss out with an ankle injury.
Mertesacker has been nominated the captain of the Arsenal team in the absence of Mikel Arteta, who left the Gunners in a bid to move to Manchester City as an assistant coach under Pep Guardiola. His return will add a much-needed boost to the Gunners dressing room, with the north London club starting the season strongly, currently only two points behind leaders Liverpool.
The north London club have a lot of injury problems on their plate ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, with question marks over Alexis Sanchez's arrival, who is set to start against Uruguay in the World Cup 2018 qualifiers scheduled for Tuesday, 15 November. The forward injured his hamstring in training and missed out the game against Colombia, which ended in a goalless draw. However, manager Juan Antonio Pizzi has confirmed that he will be available for their game against Uruguay, keeping Arsenal fans on-alert across the world.
"Arturo and Claudio had a knock after the game at Barranquilla. Alexis's case is different because he was not available for that game but we knew that the magnitude of the injury was so small that we could keep in our mind for this game [against Uruguay] and the three are available," the Chile boss said in the press conference ahead of the game.
Asked whether the Arsenal forward is 100% fit to face Uruguay, Pizzi insisted: "Yes. It's not that he could not train. He has been training on his own while we were in Colombia, making it a specific task to recover. Yesterday [on Sunday] he trained with the group and had no problem, so he is available."