Arsenal: Mikel Arteta lays out injury return timeline for William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is hoping Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba will be fit for the start of pre-season.
The pair have been injured since March and have missed the final stages of the title race, with Arsenal losing out to Manchester City.
Tomiyasu has been out after undergoing knee surgery, while Saliba has been on the sidelines due to a back problem. They will miss Sunday’s final game of the season at home to Wolves, but Arteta hopes they can be back for pre-season.
“(Tomiyasu) is really close,” said Arteta. “Hopefully, he will be around for pre-season, like Willy (Saliba), to be in a good place. They have been working so hard and it’s been a really difficult year for (Tomiyasu) with some of the issues he’s had.
“He’s a tremendous person and a top professional and we just want him to be available because when he’s available he’s really helpful for the team. Willy is evolving in the right way. In the last few weeks, they’ve been much more positive than in the previous two months.
“We wanted to protect him; it’s an injury that needs some care and attention. We’ve been pretty conservative to give him the best possible chance to have a good pre-season and go again in the next season.”
Arsenal have been hit hard by injuries towards the end of the season, with Gabriel Martinelli (ankle), Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) and Mohamed Elneny (knee) also out of this weekend’s game. Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard are doubts, too.
“We probably have more than we have in the last few years in terms of long-term injuries and unfortunately, those players have to keep working through the summer,” Arteta said. “Psychologically it will be difficult as well because the building is empty and they have been rehabbing with a lot of demands throughout the season.
“We want them fresh and we have to make sure they are fresh in the mind at the start of pre-season to go again, and have the willingness to come here on the first day with new toys and go again.
“We have to understand how they’re feeling, what they need and what is best for them, and whether what they think is best for them and the club as well. We have to find that balance, and the way to do it is by communicating. That is the best way.”