Press conference

Arteta on… Mat Ryan and Kieran Tierney’s fitness

Will Mat Ryan and Kieran Tierney be in our matchday squad for Saturday’s game at Aston Villa?

With Bernd Leno suspended, Mikel Arteta was asked about whether the Australia international goalkeeper could make his debut, and whether Tierney could return.


This is what he told the media:


on Mat Ryan’s fitness…

He has not been available to train yet, and Alex is available, so we will have the choice between the two of them for the weekend. If Mat is able to train, and they are both fit, we will have a decision to make. If Mat is not fit, obviously Alex will be in goal.


on if it would be 'gutting' for Ryan to miss out...

This is football and these things happen. That's why when we allowed Matt Macey to go, we knew that we had to get somebody else because we knew these things can happen. Unfortunately when you least need them, it actually happens. So we are more protected now, having Mat as well in the squad and let's see if he's fit. But for now, Alex is fit as well.


on Aubameyang being available…

Well he is available, he played a few minutes after 10 days of not doing much and hopefully in the next two days he feels good and he is available to contribute to the team.


on whether he’s having to manage Kieran Tierney carefully…

No, it’s a different injury in this case. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself. We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible, and we are here to support him as much as we can.

on whether he’s concerned that he will be playing games for Scotland soon…

No, what I want is that he’s fit to play for us as soon as possible, then if he’s fit and he’s ready to represent his country, there we go, it’s one of his dreams and he needs to fulfil that. But what I want is for him to play for Arsenal.

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