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Arsenal midfielder could make season debut

Mikel Arteta could return to the Arsenal first team this weekend

By | 20th September 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hinted that Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta could make his season debut for the Gunners this weekend. The 31 year old midfielder was a critical player for the club last year, making 34 starts while scoring six times and assisting on three more. More importantly, however, the midfielder often captained the side and helped lead the side to a narrow fourth place finish.

Arteta picked up a thigh injury prior to the start of the season and was expected to be out until October but it seems he has accelerated that timeline and may be able to provide a boost for the Arsenal midfield this weekend.

“The only player who could come back is Arteta,” Wenger told reporters, according to

“He is back in full training today [and] a decision will be made tomorrow morning. He is a leader – we are happy to have him back.”

Arsenal will host Stoke City on Sunday at the Emirates, where they have won all five of their previous encounters against the Potters. The Gunners will have to be wary of Stoke on set pieces, however, as the club has scored three goals this season with two coming on set pieces. Although Stoke has only netted three times this year, they currently sit in seventh place in the table, tied on points with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Newcastle.

Wenger also revealed his delight with the play of new £42.5 million signing Mesut Ozil, believing the playmaker is only going to get better as he becomes more fit.

“He has integrated well,” Wenger said of Ozil, according to ”I think he’s not at the top physically yet. We are very pleased to have him with us.”

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