Arsenal head coach Unai Emery is certain Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are both mentally prepared to feature in Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Burnley.
The duo were unavailable for last weekend’s 1-0 win at Newcastle as the police investigate “further security incidents”.
Both players were targeted by car-jackers in north London last month, with security camera footage showing Kolasinac confronting the offenders after they approached Ozil’s car. The two players emerged unhurt during the incident in Golders Green.
The pair have returned to training (Adam Davy/PA)
Neither had trained last Friday before Arsenal released a statement later in the day announcing they would be unavailable for selection at St James’ Park.
But Emery confirmed that both players had returned in the build-up to Arsenal’s first home game of the season and was in no doubt that they would be ready if called upon against the Clarets.
Asked if the pair would be mentally ready for Saturday, Emery replied: “Yes, 100 per cent.
“Really my focus is to be positive and focus on making sure the players are 100 per cent in their minds here.
“I want to help them to be with us, back to normal training, thinking about football. Above all, I want them to be able to focus on each training session and each match.
“They came back to training with us on Tuesday. They came to start training with us and really Mesut Ozil is a little sick, he didn’t train yesterday but he trained today with us.
“I think each training gives us good information and good different options with them also to take the decision if they’re going to be with us on Saturday or be in the first XI. But we are going to wait until tomorrow, our last training session.
“Am I pleased that they’re back? Of course. For us, for me, first they’re a person and second they’re a player.
“We’re continuing our way with all the players who are ready with us and consistent every day in training.
“When they are training regularly every day and consistent every day it’s good news for us because we can choose them to help us in matches – and the first match is Saturday.”
None of Arsenal’s summer signings started in the victory at Newcastle as Emery eases them into his set-up.
Dani Ceballos is among those pushing for a start (Nick Potts/PA)
The likes of David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe will be keen to force their way into the side this weekend, although Granit Xhaka may miss out due to bruising on his back and leg.
“Each player is different and really after Newcastle this week the players have been working well,” he added.
“Today was the same. We can decide and choose different options for each position in the squad.
“We need to be competitive and we need different options to decide who is better for each match.
“If I have some doubt it’s good because it’s positive and after we are going to decide and it can depend on training tomorrow.”
– Press Association
Dalo’s All-Ireland Preview Podcast: Tale of the unexpected but familiar final
Bayern Munich agree deal for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho
Athletic Aduriz makes stunning late impact against Barcelona
Adrian ‘optimistic’ of being fit to face Southampton after freak injury
No progress made with potential Neymar transfer, insists PSG chief Leonardo