Lucas Perez is set to return to first team action for Arsenal in tomorrow night’s EFL Cup tie against Southampton at the Emirates.
The Spaniard was injured against Reading in the last round of the competition when Dutch defender Danzell Gravenberch heavy tackle left him with ankle ligament damage.
After treatment in London and A Coruña, Perez returned to training last week. Too late for involvement in Sunday’s 3 – 1 win over Bournemouth, Arsenal will take one last check on his progress at training today before making a decision over what part he will play in Wednesday’s match.
It’s welcome news for Arsène Wenger with injury concerns beginning to mount. Alexis Sanchez is in desperate need of some rest following the drama over his hamstring in Chile. Despite those concerns, he’s played every game since with heavy strapping on his thigh.
Olivier Giroud compounded Wenger’s worries when he collapsed the turf at Sunday’s final whistle. The French striker the Arsenal manager later reported, suffered a “twitch” of his hamstring with no news yet on how long he will be out for, if at all.
With Danny Welbeck, Chuba Akpom and even Yaya Sanogo injured until the New Year, Wenger is struggling for options in his forward line with Stephy Mavididi in line for a first team call-up following some impressive performances in the junior sides.
The Derby-born striker was top scorer for the under-21s last season with 17 goals in 30 appearances and 3 in 8 Premier League 2 appearances this season. Capped by England at under-17 level, the club has high hopes for the youngster progressing to the first team.
Mavididi is expected to play some part tomorrow with Lucas unlikely to be in shape to last the whole of the ninety minutes, especially with the prospect of extra-time as well.