Arsene Wenger has been boosted by the fact that Laurent Koscielny is in contention to start against Fenerbahce at the Emirates stadium next Tuesday after suffering a cut in the eye in the first leg in Turkey. The defender is suspended for their game against Fulham after receiving a red card against Aston Villa but Wenger believes that he would not have been available for the London derby either way.
"He's like a boxer who had a hard fight the night before; lots of blood around his eye and a deep cut. He is suspended for Saturday anyway but let's hope he recovers for next Tuesday [against Fenerbahce]. It will be short because the cut is very deep. Hopefully it will be alright," Wenger told www.arsenal.com.
Wenger also gave updates on Ryo Miyaichi who will also be back into the first team shortly, while Nacho Monreal is back in full training and came off the bench against Fenerbahce in midweek. Thomas Vermaelen is still a few weeks away from full fitness.
"He is back in full training now. He will be involved this season in the first-team squad. Hopefully very soon because he's now getting fit. He is out running. He's on the pitches again. But there's still a good few weeks to go for him to get his fitness. We have Nacho back and Thomas soon back so that's all good news for us," Wenger added.
The Frenchman is still not sure as to how many players will be deemed fit from their midweek battle in Turkey, with the Gunners already treading thin water in terms of squad size. Long term injuries to Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chemberlain and Abou Diaby has forced Wenger to use Jack Wilshere for two full 90 minutes in back to back games, who is likely to be tired after coming back from a long lay-off.
The Gunners are exploring the possibility of signing Mathieu Flamini on a free, who is currently training with them and are also considering a renewed bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye after having a £10m bid rejected.
"The news is quite positive at the moment. Of course we have some players who I will need to consider because of the accumulation of the international game and then the Premier League and Champions League matches. I will have to make a deeper analysis tomorrow and on Saturday morning," Wenger concluded.