Arsenal insider Charles Watts has given his thoughts after a recent injury update from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
Arteta’s side are getting ready to take on Villarreal tomorrow in the first leg of the semi-final of the Europa League, in a tie that will pretty much make or break their season given how far off the pace they are when it comes to the league.
Speaking in his press conference today (via Football.London), the Spaniard confirmed a number of players were in contention to play in Spain tomorrow, including Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney following their recent respective injury/illness issues. However, speaking on his show (8:58), Watts said that the only player he would feel confident about playing would be Lacazette given the seriousness of his knock compared to the others:
“I would be surprised; I think the only one who might go straight into the starting line-up if it’s decided that he is fit is Lacazette just because it’s not been too long since he’s been playing. I think the other two, especially Tierney, I think he’s been out for a fair while now, to throw him straight back into a semi-final and the intensity of that sort of match just seems like a bit of a long shot.
“And even Auba because you think what his body’s been through with his illness with Malaria, to throw him straight back in again, it kind of feels like something you’ve got to build the body up to. So I would say if anyone has got the best chance of starting out of those three, it’ll be Laca.”
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TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments on Alexandre Lacazette playing for Arsenal
Arsenal fans should be hoping that Watts’ comments are true because they are going to need Lacazette tomorrow – especially if Aubameyang doesn’t make it – their top scorer this season in all competitions.
They need that crucial away goal or two to give themselves a real shot of making the Europa League final.