Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

FA & League Cups

Kim Kallstrom: Midfielder nearing full fitness to make Arsenal debut in FA Cup tie against Everton on Saturday

On loan Swedish midfielder has not played for the club because of a back injury

Kim Kallstrom, the midfielder on loan at Arsenal from Spartak Moscow, is close to finally making his debut for the Gunners,and could feature against Everton in the FA Cup tie at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Swede joined the Gunners on loan for the remainder of the season on transfer deadline day in January, but was immediately ruled out with a microfracture in his back that he had picked up before signing for the club.

Kallstrom has now, however, made good progress in his return to fitness, and reportedly told the Swedish FA's medical staff that he is "close to being fit".

Manager Arsene Wenger previously conceded that he knew of the 31-year-old's injury before he joined, but he had no alternative but to complete the deal, because it was too late to find any fit midfielders in time.

Should the Everton fixture come too soon, Kallstrom should be available for the Premier League north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur the following Sunday.

The Gunners were boosted yesterday by the news that Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky had both signed new contracts with the club, although the future of Bacary Sagna has been thrown into even further doubt as a new deal was not announced for the French right-back.