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Arsenal injury news: Double boost as pair back in full training while key ace in squad vs Southampton

Arsenal face a difficult test against Southampton in the FA Cup this weekend, but Arsene Wenger will be buoyed by fitness boosts he has received this week.

As confirmed in his press conference on Thursday morning, the French tactician has welcomed back defensive pair Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy to full training.

While Mertesacker’s return will mean additional depth behind his first-choice centre-half pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, the return of Debuchy could potentially be important.

For all the transfer speculation flying around him, with Wenger even leaving the door open on Thursday to a possible January exit now that his compatriot is fit again, he could in fact do with keeping him at the club until the end of the season at least.

With Hector Bellerin picking up a couple of frustrating injuries this season, Gabriel has done a commendable job filling in for him.

However, surely Arsenal would be better off having a natural right-back available as cover in the event that Wenger is forced to change things again moving forward.

While those two are still some way off returning to action on a consistent basis, Wenger also revealed that Theo Walcott will be in the squad this weekend to face his former club.

The 27-year-old has been sidelined with a calf strain for a few weeks, but his return will be a boost for the Gunners as they look to march on in the Cup.

Walcott has scored 11 goals and provided two assists in 20 appearances so far this season, and so he’ll be desperate to get back fully fit and in form.

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