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Arsenal handed double squad boost ahead of Premier League return

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal
© Arsenal FC

The Gunners are preparing to continue their quest for the league title.

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka played for Arsenal in their last friendly game before the return of the Premier League.

The pair returned from their World Cup campaigns with Brazil and England, respectively.

Brazil crashed out of the tournament after a quarter-final defeat against Croatia, while France eliminated England in the semi-finals.

The only player who is yet to return from the World Cup is France international, William Saliba. Les Bleus hoped to defend their title in Qatar but lost the final against Argentina.

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Mikel Arteta played both Saka and Martinelli in his side’s final friendly game ahead of their return to competitive action. Luton Town held Arsenal to a goalless draw, as most Arsenal starters got minutes during the match.

As Arsenal prepare for their Boxing-Day clash against West Ham, Arteta insists the duo are ready to continue the season.

“I don’t have any concerns,” Arteta said of the two forwards. “They have assessed really well and they will be training for us in the next few days so hopefully they will be ready.

“They came back [to the club] straight away into the rhythm, shape and mood of the team.

“We are waiting for them and they are desperate to be back as well. I’ve spoken to both of them, Gabi was here on Saturday: a big smile, big energy and ready to go again. It’s going to be a big boost for the team.”