Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives unclear Odegaard and Zinchenko updates

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not know when Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko will be fit to play again. Both players were absent from the Gunners squad which travelled to Brentford on Sunday.

Odegaard had started all six Premier League matches this season after being named club captain. Summer signing Zinchenko has already missed a couple of games due to injury and is again on the sidelines.

Arteta refused to speak about Zinchenko’s reported injury at his pre-match press conference on Friday. That is despite the Ukraine FA announcing he was not fit for the upcoming international break.

But neither he nor Odegaard were at Brentford. Arteta was unable to put a timeframe on either of their injuries.

He told Sky Sports: “They are both injured and not available for the game. I don’t know, we have the international break right now so it’s going to give us a break [on that].

“They are two different things but we don’t know yet.” Both players are not expected to be out for long, although Arsenal will be desperate they are back for the north London derby against Tottenham on October 1.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri was named on the bench against Brentford despite making just two appearances for the under-21 side. Left-back Lino Sousa and midfielder Matt Smith were also among the substitutes.

Arteta said the recent injury issues provide a big opportunity for some of the club’s academy stars. He said: “We have the opportunity now to bring young players, obviously we’ve had some injuries in the last few weeks.

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“We are pretty short but opportunities come when other issues arrive.” Arsenal are also currently without Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, Cedric Soares and Reiss Nelson.

Nelson has returned to training and should be back after the international break. Smith Rowe has been struggling with a groin injury for several weeks and aggravated it after the 3-1 loss to Manchester United.

Speaking on Smith Rowe this week, Arteta said: “It’s been an ongoing issue that he’s had. He’s had some discomfort in the groin area, unfortunately.

“He hasn’t had any continuity this season and it’s something we are trying to assess and trying to help him as much as possible in any way that we can because we need him fit, we need him available and we need him performing at the best level, because he’s such an important player for us. Unfortunately, for this period and for periods last year, we haven’t had him.”

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