Arsenal’s new signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez are in line to make their debut against Southampton this Saturday. However, Arsene Wenger ruled out midfielder Aaron Ramsey and revealed that a late decision would be made regarding Alexis Sanchez.
The Gunners will be without Euro 2016 star Aaron Ramsey against the Saints this Saturday. Both Ramsey and Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi were injured in the opening game against Liverpool, but while Iwobi has now recovered, Wenger has stated that Ramsey is unlikely to be fit for Saturday’s game.
“Iwobi is back in the squad,” said Wenger, according to the official club website. “The only one who is not ready is Aaron Ramsey. He is on the a good way, but not completely ready for Southampton or Tuesday.”
The French manager also expressed doubts over the participation of Chilean midfielder Alexis Sanchez, who returned from international duty late on Thursday night. Wenger said that he would have to make a decision in ‘the next 24 hours’ on whether to risk starting him this weekend.
The Arsenal manager spoke positively of the clubs’ two newest additions. German centre-back Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez could be making their debuts for the Gunners against Southampton.
Speaking of their qualities ahead of the game, Wenger said: “Mustafi is a young centre back and already has international experience. Lucas is an interesting striker who is versatile, can play on the flank and especially though the middle. He can score goals and can also provide a good number of assists. With the way I like to play, that’s an interesting quality.”
Mustafi is almost certain to start for Arsenal against the Saints given the injuries to the two senior defenders Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista. The £35 million signing from Valencia could pair up with Laurent Koscielny in a central defensive partnership that, if things go according to plan, the Gunners will be depending on for many seasons to come.
Lucas Perez is less likely to start on the other hand, as Wenger will not replace first-choice Olivier Giroud so easily. However, the Arsenal manager could play Perez instead of Sanchez on the left wing because of the latter’s late return from the international break.