Bellerin, Miquel and Koscielny train ahead of Besiktas tie

Arsenal held their final training session at London Colney this morning ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League Play-Off Round, 1st leg tie away to Besiktas.

With Kieran Gibbs missing owing to the injury he sustained on Saturday against Crystal Palace, Hector Bellerin and Ignasi Miquel joined Arsene Wenger’s squad for the workout. Bellerin, having been close to making the squad at the weekend, could travel to Turkey if Gibbs is ruled out.

Laurent Koscielny, who was also doubtful, came through the session unscathed and is likely to be involved tomorrow. Mathieu Flamini was absent against Crystal Palace but trained today and is set to return to the squad.

Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe

Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe

Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry and Ryo are all at various stages in their respective comebacks from injury, with the latter likely to be the first of the trio to return to full fitness. Goalkeeper David Ospina remains out, with newly-promoted shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez poised to be named amongst the substitutes tomorrow.

World Cup winners Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski are in contention to the return to the side against Everton on Saturday. Abou Diaby is available but is likely to remain in England to do fitness work.

Players in training today: Szczesny, Martinez, Debuchy, Chambers, Koscielny, Arteta, Alexis, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Sanogo, Giroud, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Flamini, Bellerin, Miquel.





  1. Why do you think Arsene hasn’t started to bring in more of Hayden or Ajayi now that there is an issue with center back depth in the first team? Does he see Hayden more as a CDM and is Ajayi not ready yet? (He is older than Chambers after all).

    1. Because he has chambers koscielny bellerin miquel debuchy monreal coquelin flamini all very capable defenders. At least 5 of those 8 can play centre back.

  2. Am surprised that Bellerin being considered to be on the bench rather than simply slotting in Coquelin. While Coquelin has produced mixed results in central midfield, he has always looked great to me when he has deputised as a full back on either side. One could get away with using him at full back in this type of game whereas, Bellerin is simply not a good enough defender at this stage to risk playing him i a game of such importance – Besiktas would simply target him and do that all night long.

    Hard for me to understand why Arsenal has not just moved Coquelin to full back permanently in fact – he has all the tools in terms of speed, strength and playing on one side he seems to be in better control of his defensive duties and assessing the danger. In the middle of the field it seems the decision making and judgement calls are more difficult for him.

  3. Hard to remember each specific game so well now, but I think he did overall well in that game although some said he didnt. Made some good runs that teammates didnt pickout and while some passes went astray he was making anticipative passes tot he right place that others didnt seem to realize he could see and make.

    Anyway I think he is a handy player, just not being used in the correct place.

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