By North-west correspondent

David de Gea took part in training on Saturday in a boost to Manchester United ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal, Football Insider sources understand.

The United No1 has missed the club’s last three matches with a knee injury sustained in the warm-up before their Europa League defeat to Midtjylland nine days ago.

But the goalkeeper is back in training and is in contention to return for the crunch clash at Old Trafford against Arsene Wenger’s title challengers.

Sergio Romero has performed impressively while standing in for De Gea but the Spaniard has been United’s outstanding player this season and will come back into the side if he is passed fit.

“I expect [David can return] because I saw the way he was today,” said Van Gaal during a briefing with the media after Thursday night’s 5-1 Europa League triumph over Midtjylland.

In other Manchester United team news, Chris Smalling is hopeful of playing against Arsenal after missing Thursday’s win with a shoulder injury.

“I was disappointed to miss the other night, but I’m hoping to be okay to play this game,” the defender told the United website.