Right-back Mathieu Debuchy will make his first senior competitive Arsenal appearance in almost 11 months on Thursday night (19 October) as the Gunners travel to Serbia for their latest Europa League Group H fixture against Red Star Belgrade.
Debuchy has become something of a forgotten figure at the Emirates Stadium after returning from a loan stint at Bordeaux and playing just 16 minutes of Premier League football in 2016-17 before suffering a hamstring injury during the 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
The 32-year-old was widely expected to depart Arsenal during the summer transfer window. However, he eventually stayed in north London after a proposed return to France collapsed when OGC Nice, reportedly put off by his wage demands, opted to sign Christophe Jallet from Lyon.
Newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion also lodged an enquiry for Debuchy in the run-up to deadline day, with Arsene Wenger apparently willing to let his compatriot depart for nothing. Yet a move to the south coast never materialised.
Debuchy has not featured in a senior Arsenal matchday squad since being confined to the substitutes' bench for an FA Cup fifth-round win over non-league Sutton United in February. However, he has travelled to Belgrade and will start at a sold-out Rajko Mitic Stadium.
"Hopefully he gets through," Wenger told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening. "He will certainly start tomorrow."
Usual Europa League goalkeeper David Ospina did not make the trip to southeast Europe because of injury, according to the Evening Standard, meaning that first-choice custodian Petr Cech is set to retain his starting berth against Red Star. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud should also come in as Arsenal continue to rotate their squad in Europe's secondary club competition and 18-year-old Josh Dasilva could make his senior debut.
Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a thigh strain suffered on international duty with Germany, while fellow defender Calum Chambers' return from a recurring hip problem will reportedly be postponed by a further fortnight.
It remains to be seen how much more time Danny Welbeck will miss after he limped out of the last-gasp Premier League defeat at Watford on Saturday evening with a hamstring injury. Laurent Koscielny is only believed to have been suffering from a cramp at Vicarage Road and, like Aaron Ramsey (thigh), should be in contention to face Everton this weekend.
Contract rebel Alexis Sanchez did not play against Watford due to a minor hamstring issue, although he is set to be available for that trip to Goodison Park, having been pictured training alongside Koscielny and Ramsey at London Colney on Wednesday morning.
Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla is not expected to make his long-awaited comeback until after Christmas, however.