Arsenal entered the month of November with nine first team players sidelined due to injuries. With their thin squad, the Gunners sputtered during their two biggest matches of the month, losing to Bayern Munich 5-1 in the Champions League and drawing against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 on Sunday. While the seemingly annual injury crisis certainly contributed to the club’s shaky start to the month, there is good news on the way for Arsenal and their fans.
Club captain Mikel Arteta and backup goalkeeper David Ospina have recently returned following a spell on the sidelines. Arteta made a 13-minute cameo for the Spurs match, his first game time in nearly a month, and Ospina was fit enough for the bench during the same game.
The Gunners could be trimming the number of injured players down to four over the next week or so, as Hector Bellerin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey could make their comebacks in Arsenal’s next Premier League match. Because of the current international break, which comes at the perfect time for the north London outfit, Premier League play does not resume until Nov. 21.
Bellerin, Arsenal’s newest injured player, has missed out on the last two matches for the Gunners. The defender’s importance to his team was highlighted during Bayern’s thumping of Arsenal. The Gunners have let in multiple goals in four out of the six matches Bellerin has missed this season. On the other hand, his team has only given up two or more goals in three of 13 matches the young Spaniard has started. The 20-year-old’s outstanding play was reward with the Young Catalan Player of the Year on Monday evening.
Winger Oxlade-Chamberlain has been on the injury table since Arsenal’s shock 3-0 League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Oct. 27. The speedy Englishman went down after five minutes of the match due to a strained hamstring. Oxlade-Chamberlain was picked by many to fight for the PFA Young Player of the Year award at season’s end. At 22, this could be fairly significant season of development for the former Southampton product.
Ramsey, additionally, endured an injury during Arsenal’s big victory over Bayern back on Oct. 20. Although some Gunner fans were not sold on the Welshman’s switch to the right flank, the club appear more complete when he is on the pitch. Arsenal have scored multiple goals in just two of the five matches that Ramsey has missed, as well as keeping only one clean sheet during the stretch.