Chuba Akpom is likely to travel with the Arsenal first-team for their Premier League game away to Southampton tomorrow, with Danny Welbeck set to miss the game against Ronald Koeman’s side because of a thigh problem.
Despite being part of the first-team squad, Akpom has only been afforded five minutes of first-team football this season, which came against Southampton in the Capital One Cup in September. However, the striker was named on the bench for the recent fixtures against Galatasaray and West Ham United and could be amongst the substitutes at St Mary’s Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Becoming increasingly involved in the first-team set-up, albeit as a consequence of the unavailability of others, could help to persuade Akpom to sign a new contract with the club.
Olivier Giroud will continue to serve his suspension, whilst fellow forward Yaya Sanogo is also out. There was some positive news on the injury front today, however, with Serge Gnabry returning to full training. Save for a couple of outings for the U21s, Gnabry has barely featured this season, but he could be involved when the second-string take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.
Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby are all out injured. Tomas Rosicky is back available and could feature from the offset against Southampton, whilst, in the absence of Welbeck and Giroud, Alexis Sanchez could be deployed as a central striker, which would enable Theo Walcott to make his much-anticipated return to the starting line-up.
Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Monreal, Coquelin, Podolski, Campbell, Akpom.