Arsenal handed quadruple injury boost ahead of Burnley tie as Per Mertesacker signs new contract

Wenger also confirms that striker Olivier Giroud is back in training and looks set to continue to lead the attack despite suffering an ankle injury last weekend

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 19 January 2017 10:35 GMT
Hector Bellerin is in line to return from injury for Arsenal against Burnley this weekend
Hector Bellerin is in line to return from injury for Arsenal against Burnley this weekend (Getty)

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal are set to receive a quadruple injury boost ahead of this weekend’s Premier League visit of Burnley, with a number of first-team players set to return to the fold.

Wenger confirmed that Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs and Francis Coquelin all rejoin the squad for the visit of the Clarets, while Olivier Giroud has recovered enough to train this weekend despite picking up an ankle injury in the 4-0 rout of Swansea last weekend.

Giroud, who has scored seven league goals this season and 10 in all competitions, has re-established himself in Wenger’s first team, and looks set to continue to lead the attack in an effort to continue his fantastic run of five goals in five matches.

However, Wenger also confirmed that Theo Walcott remains absent with the calf injury that has kept him sidelined since the 2-1 defeat by Manchester City in mid-December.

“From last week, Bellerin, Coquelin & Gibbs are back in the group,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference. “Not Walcott. Giroud is back in training since yesterday.”

Wenger also provided an update on the return of club captain Per Mertesacker, whom he said was “two weeks away” from being in consideration for selection, though in his absence this season fellow German Shkodran Mustafi has formed a strong partnership with Laurent Koscielny.

He went on to reveal that Mertesacker will remain with the club for the 2017/18 season after the club decided to activate an extension clause in his contract for an additional year, with the World Cup winner due to become a free agent in the summer.

“He has an option that we have taken,” Wenger said of Mertesacker. “There was no negotiation, just an option that we have taken.

Per Mertesacker has extended his Arsenal contract by an additional year (Getty)

“He’s back in training, not with the squad, but he’s two weeks away now.

He added: “With the number of games we have it’s important that we have all our experienced players back and that everybody is focused to do well.

“We’re going through a moment of truth now, January until May is five months to go. You want ideally all your players with big experience back in your squad.”

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