EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain trained with Arsenal today and is in contention for a shock return for tomorrow’s north London derby, Football Insider sources understand.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had been ruled out until after the forthcoming international break by Arsene Wenger after injuring his hamstring in the team’s League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday 11 days ago.
But, as revealed by Football Insider, the 22-year-old England international had not given up hope of being involved against Spurs.
He returned to full training today after being given the green light by Arsenal’s medical team and is now in contention to make an unexpected return at Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
Fellow absentee Mikel Arteta could also figure against Spurs after being sidelined with foot and ankle problems since the Gunners’ 5-2 win over Leicester on 26 September.
The possible availability of the first-team pair is a huge boost to Arsene Wenger after he voiced his fears yesterday that Arsenal’s growing casualty list could derail the team’s Premier League challenge.
The Gunners could not call on 10 first-teamers as they were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night
But there are some encouraging signs that the treatment room is getting less congested.
Wenger rates Laurent Koscielny’s chances of playing against Spurs at “80 per cent”, with the defender set to undergo a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow’s 4pm kick-off.