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Odegaard involved and injury boost – Things spotted in Arsenal training ahead of West Ham match

Odegaard involved and injury boost – Things spotted in Arsenal training ahead of West Ham match

Arsenal’s preparations for the Carabao Cup fourth round clash against West Ham United are fully set, as training images have been released.

The positive update is that nearly every key player was seen participating in the training, including captain Martin Odegaard

He had been dealing with a minor hip injury and was rested during the recent 5-0 victory over Sheffield United.


Mikel Arteta, speaking in the pre-match press conference, mentioned, “We had the opportunity to do it, we didn’t use him in the end so that was a good offload for him.

“It is not only that. There are a lot of things that you have to do, it is impossible to play with no niggles in football at this level when you have games every three days. It is impossible, if you try to do that you are better to stay in bed because I don’t know any players that are constantly perfect and in the best possible condition so you have to adapt to that.”

With exceptions for the injured Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey, and Gabriel Jesus, most of Arsenal’s senior outfield players returned to training at London Colney shortly after the win against Sheffield United. 

Below are the observations ArsenalBrief made during the latest session.

Youngsters called up

The victory in the third round over Brentford last month held particular significance for Arsenal’s Hale End academy. Firstly, Charles Sagoe Jr made his senior debut, while Amario Cozier-Duberry, Reuell Walters, and James Sweet were part of the squad for the trip to the Gtech Community Stadium, although they didn’t get a chance to play during the match.

As for whether any of these four players might feature in the matchday squad on Wednesday night, it’s uncertain. 

However, the group consisting of Walters, Cozier-Duberry, Jimi Gower, Bradley Ibrahim, Myles Lewis-Skelly, and Ethan Nwaneri were among the young talents called up to train alongside established players like Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, and Eddie Nketiah.

Regarding Nwaneri, the attacking midfielder hasn’t been in action since playing for the U19s in the UEFA Youth League against PSV Eindhoven on September 20. This inclusion in the training setup potentially indicates that he has fully recovered from an injury that had kept him sidelined for over a month.

No Smith Rowe?

Let the speculation commence! Based on the images available to ArsenalBrief, Emile Smith Rowe was not visible during Tuesday’s training session at London Colney. This absence has triggered concerns among certain supporters that he might miss the upcoming West Ham United game.

However, it’s essential to note that previously, Saka and William Saliba were also absent from the last training session before the Chelsea game a couple of weeks ago, but both ended up starting at Stamford Bridge. 

Therefore, it’s crucial not to jump to conclusions regarding Smith Rowe, as he might have been present but not captured in the photographs taken by the club’s photographer.

Rice reunion

For the initial occasion following his £105 million transfer to Arsenal, Declan Rice might potentially play against his former club on Wednesday night. 

As per Arteta, the midfielder is a possible candidate to participate at the London Stadium, and the Arsenal manager anticipates a positive and welcoming reception for Rice if he indeed takes part in the game.

“He’s likely. He can be involved, it would be his first time back there at his old club and a beautiful moment for him,” the Gunners boss told reporters. “I think its beautiful, I had the experience to do it a few times and then you really see what they think of you and what you left at that club. It’s really good way to measure your experience and the reality of your reality with the people who shared those moments with you.

“I would say so and I hope so [Rice receiving a good reception form the West Ham fans]. Especially because every time you hear him talk about West Ham and what they did for him and everybody at the club, he cannot speak any more highly. Hopefully, it will be the same way towards him.”

In training before a possible reunion with former teammates like Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta, and his former manager David Moyes, the 24-year-old appeared quite relaxed and at ease.

Odegaard involved and injury boost – Things spotted in Arsenal training ahead of West Ham match

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