Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted he wasn’t sure on Granit Xhaka’s return after the midfielder injured his knee in the North London derby win against Tottenham in September. Although the Switzerland international doesn’t need a surgery, he is expected to miss at least three months of action.
Speaking on Xhaka’s return Arteta said “Granit is progressing really well but obviously we know it is a long-term injury unfortunately and he’s not going to be available.”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure that if you tell him three [months], he will be thinking two [months]. He will be trying to do extra work to try to minimise that time, that’s for sure. We have to do it in the right way because it’s a significant injury and we want to have him back properly when he can.”
Arteta will be hoping to return back to winning ways on Monday against Crystal Palace after a disappointing draw away to Brighton in their last game. Speaking on the team’s attacking threat Arteta said “There have been many areas [of focus], that is one of them obviously.”
“The players we have available here to work because of internationals is very limited but it is certainly something we can do better and improve in our efficiency in front of goal, and when we get that balance right it will obviously help us to win more game.”
On asked about the possibility of Thomas Partey’s involvement on Monday, Arteta said “Well, let’s see. We haven’t had the players here yet. Some of them because they’re still travelling and they’ve not been assessed by the medical staff, but hopefully. He finished both games really well. He played well and scored a couple of goals like many other players did in this international break, and hopefully, everybody is in the right condition on Monday to help us win the game.”
Having turned things around after a bleak start to the season, Arteta insisted that the team must keep improving to get the results. The Arsenal manager added “When you’re in a good moment, you want to carry on playing as quickly as possible. When the confidence is there, and the momentum is there, you want to continue, but again, we knew that we had to stop after that game. [We knew] that we had to get as many points as possible, and we did well enough to do that and be in a different position than a month ago, and now we have to just improve it.”
When questioned about Lacazette’s future at the club Arteta said “We are focusing on getting the best out of Laca and he shows every day his commitment is here. We just want to give him the right minutes so that he can show his quality and help the team to do better.”