Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained tight-lipped regarding the availability of Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Brentford despite the defender’s national team (UAF) saying he had picked up a calf injury.
Zinchenko, 25, missed games against Fulham and Aston Villa due to a knee sprain but returned to feature in Arsenal’s most recent fixtures against Manchester United in the league and FC Zurich in the Europa League.
The UAF said on Friday Zinchenko had withdrawn from international duty after sustaining the injury during training at Arsenal and would be sidelined for two weeks, missing Ukraine’s Nations League matches later this month.
“We have to wait until tomorrow to make a decision,” Arteta told reporters later on Friday. “What we have decided to do for international week doesn’t mean it will be the same this weekend.”
Arteta added he would provide an update on Thomas Partey’s fitness after Arsenal’s training session on Saturday. The Ghana midfielder has missed the last four games across all competitions with a thigh problem.
The Arsenal manager confirmed Ben White was fit after the defender missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
“Gareth picks the best squad he believes in for now but that does not mean it will be the case in November… Whenever Ben gets the call, he will be ready,” Arteta said.
“He can play in both positions (fullback and centre back) and to have versatile players who can play them to the level Ben can is something any manager would want.”
Arsenal leads the league standings with 15 points from six games and will return to action against Thomas Frank’s Brentford on Sunday after its games against Everton and PSV Eindhoven were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Arteta was named the Premier League’s Manager of the Month for August earlier on Friday after Arsenal’s perfect record in its five games last month.
“It’s a sign the team is performing well. We are winning and it is a consequence of that,” Arteta said before backing Arsenal to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Manchester United.
“(Brentford) are a really good side. What Thomas and the staff have done there, not only this year but over the years, is remarkable… We are going to have to be at our best to beat them.”