Arsenal given four reasons to be excited as Arteta eyes title charge after Dubai break | Football | Sport

Arsenal have jetted off to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp during their two-week break from competition. The hiatus has come at the perfect time with the Gunners needing to regroup after a dismal run of form. Arsenal have won one game out of their last seven with only five goals scored during the barren patch. But it isn’t all doom and gloom for the Arsenal faithful. There are some genuine reasons to be excited about things to come at the Emirates following their mid-season break. And here, Express Sport is looking at four of them.

Timber back on the grass

Jurrien Timber is back on the training pitch again as he continues his road to recovery after tearing his ACL. The Dutch defender was bought from Ajax in the summer for £38.5million but was only able to feature in two competitive fixtures before being confined to the medical room for the last five months.

Timber is expected to return to action by March at the earliest which would mean the versatile defender could help Arsenal’s title bid down the home stretch. 

Jesus back training with first-team squad

When it was revealed that Gabriel Jesus had suffered yet another knee injury Gooners feared the worst but the Brazilian has since recovered and is back training with the first-team squad. He was absent during Arsenal’s crushing 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the FA Cup but should be available for Arsenal’s next game against Crystal Palace on January 20.

Vieira spotted with the team again after injury

Another player that has stepped up their recovery is Fabio Vieira. The Portuguese midfielder was spotted back with the team again in Dubai following a groin operation that has sidelined him since November.

Vieira has only started three games across all competitions this season but his absence has stretched Arsenal’s midfield with Thomas Partey and Emile Smith-Rowe also out injured for lengthy stretches at the same time. Smith-Rowe has since recovered but Partey and Vieira are still yet to play.


Partey returning by the end of January

Thomas Partey is expected to return to the pitch by the end of this month after missing the Africa Cup of Nations due to an ongoing thigh injury. The Ghanaian international has stepped up his rehabilitation work and could play against Nottingham Forest on January 30 provided everything goes to plan. 

Arsenal have really missed the deep-lying midfielder this season and his return would be a welcome boost as Arteta looks to explore playing Declan Rice further up the field in more of a No 8 role.

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