Arsenal’s quadruple injury boost leaves Mikel Arteta with big decisions to make

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is ready to see his squad boosted by a host of returning players.

The Gunners are experiencing a tough run of form leading to mounting pressure on the Spaniard after a year in charge.

But, speaking ahead of their clash with Everton, Arteta confirmed positive news with four players in the "last phase of their rehab" from injuries.

Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are both close to being available for Premier League action having eased back into competitive football in the Europa League against Dundalk, whilst Shkodran Mustafi is also nearing a return in defence.

Gabriel Martinelli will also add an extra dimension in attack with Arteta now facing some big decisions.

Arteta said: “At the moment, we have to look at the next game.

“There are players that are ended up the last phase of their rehab, like Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari who has already played some minutes in the Europa League.

“Mustafi as well, Gabriel Martinelli is very close to being available and fit to be part of us as well, which is great news. We will see what happens.”

Arteta has stabilised Arsenal ’s defence this season but now faces some major calls – starting this weekend.

The suspension of Gabriel Magalhaes after being sent off against Southampton could open the door for Chambers or Mari to come into the side and take their chance.

Mustafi has also featured regularly under Arteta when fit and, despite being expected to depart in the summer, could still be given a chance to impress.

In attack, the addition of Martinelli will be a major boost but pose questions regarding their setup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has largely played out on the left wing, but Martinelli has impressed in that role before and could free-up the captain to play through the middle.

On the other hand, the Brazilian wonderkid can also play in a central role.

His long-awaited comeback will add a new dimension as Arteta considers how to balance his attacking options with the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe and Willian all in the mix.

Arteta said of the teenager: "Gabi is pure enthusiasm, energy, belief, charisma and goals. And this is him.

"He's around the training ground and he's around our training sessions and the energy is different because he goes 100 miles per hour.

"He's got this passion and his way of playing and he is a threat.

"He's a player that we've been missing because he brings something special to the team. He's contagious with his attitude and I think it's going to be a big boost when we have him."

Whilst an injury to Thomas Partey and the suspension of Granit Xhaka have left Arteta short in the middle of the park, he now has a welcome dilemma in other areas.

Defensively and in attack he has increasing cover and some important decisions to make over a busy festive period.

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