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Arsenal could welcome back a key player for Man Utd match

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal
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After a three-month absence, Takehiro Tomiyasu could make a timely return for Arsenal this weekend.

Arsenal full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu could return this weekend if he comes through training unscathed, according to manager Mikel Arteta.

The 23-year-old Japanese, on loan from Bologna, has missed the club’s last 12 Premier League games with a calf injury but is in line to make the match-day squad on Saturday at the moment.

Tomiyasu’s potential comeback comes as Arsenal host top-four rivals Manchester United at the Emirates.

“If he [Tomiyasu] trains today and feels good, he will be available,” said Arteta during a pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Today we are training late in the stadium because of the turnaround.”

What about Lacazette?

Alexandre Lacazette, meanwhile, came on as a late substitute in the 4-2 midweek win at Chelsea after returning from COVID-19. The striker trained on Thursday and Arteta is hoping he’ll make a swift return.

“He trained yesterday, and hopefully, he will be feeling today,” the Gunners boss said about Lacazette. “After COVID, we have players that have struggled for weeks, others that have recovered quicker. Let’s see, but he’s a player that we need contributing and hopefully at his best. Hopefully, he can recover quickly.”

Arteta also refused to state whether striker Eddie Nketiah — scorer of two goals against Chelsea on Wednesday – would start against United.

On the downside, midfielder Thomas Partey remains sidelined with a thigh injury and left-back Kieran Tierney is possibly out for the season after undergoing knee surgery earlier this month.