Arsenal vs Manchester City: Aaron Ramsey faces late fitness test as Arsene Wenger fails to confirm whether Danny Welbeck will start

Ramsey suffered an ankle injury on international duty for Wales and will be assessed later today to see if he can play on Saturday afternoon

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Aaron Ramsey will be assessed later today to determine whether the midfielder will be fit for Arsenal’s important encounter against Manchester City on Saturday, Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

Ramsey picked up an ankle injury during Wales’ 2-1 victory against Andorra, and the 23-year-old has criticised the artificial pitch that caused Chris Coleman’s side a few issues in their opening European Championship 2016 qualifier on Tuesday night.

The Gunners were concerned that Ramsey could miss this weekend’s match against the reigning Premier League champions in what will be Arsenal’s biggest test of the season so far. Having the club’s Player of the Year last season fit and available for selection would certainly be a boost for the North London club, who will be looking for a win in order to send out a message to that their Premier League title challenge is a very realistic one.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Wenger said: "The first news is not bad. He will be assessed today, he has a little chance to be available for Saturday. He had an ankle sprain, it is a minor one, that is for sure."


Wenger also stressed the importance of looking after Ramsey’s fitness after he suffered a torrid time with injuries last season. The Welshman picked up a thigh injury in the Boxing Day victory over West Ham, and subsequently missed four months of football as he suffered two set-backs in his recovery from the knock.

"I am relieved because I had been haunted in my head by last year's injury that was much more serious than expected, at the start it was a little muscular injury and then it was three months," Wenger added.

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"Even if he is not completely ready for Saturday, it is a short-term injury."

The Frenchman also confirmed that Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Areteta have recovered from respective injuries to rejoin the match-day squad, while Mesut Özil has shaken off a knock to feature against City.

“Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta and Mesut Özil are fit and will be in the squad. We have to accept our schedule and deal with it. We dropped points against Leicester and we want to make up for it,” Wenger confirmed.

Arteta.jpg“Saturday is a good opportunity to show we have grown as a team and we are ready for the fight. At home we played very well at 12.45. It's not about the kick-off time, it's about the performance.”

Wenger also spoke for the first time on his newest signing Danny Welbeck. The striker completed a £16m move from rivals Manchester United on transfer deadline day, and the 23-year-old arrives at the club on a high after bagging a brace in England’s impressive 2-0 victory in Switzerland.

Fans had been calling for Wenger to sign a striker throughout the summer in order to provide back-up for Olivier Giroud. However, after refusing to bow to pressure, the broken tibia that ruled Giroud out until the New Year appeared to force Wenger and the club into action, and they made a late bid to take Welbeck from United following the arrival of Radamel Falcao at old Trafford.

“Danny Welbeck is young and I feel he can improve his career here - he is confident,” added Wenger. “I cannot tell you if Welbeck will start [against City] but it's a possibility. I have to assess the squad.

“I was happy to take a permanent transfer with Danny Welbeck. When you analyse Welbeck's game, he has the qualities to play down the middle but he is very versatile."