Mikel Arteta may have to trust the youth once more when Arsenal face off against rivals Chelsea as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are still doubts, according to Football.London.
The Gunners missed their strike duo for the season-opening defeat against Brentford due to illness, leaving Arteta to field Folarin Balogun up top and Gabriel Martinelli as one of the wide forwards.
Arteta may have to call on the 20 year olds again when Arsenal contest rivals Chelsea next Sunday – should Lacazette and Aubameyang still remain unwell in the buildup to the mammoth encounter.
That piles even more pressure on Arteta and the younger players in particular as fans will be expecting a response from the side after their 2-0 defeat to Brentford.
Arteta was unsure as to whether the duo would return against Chelsea when questioned on the attackers after the Brentford defeat, telling the BBC this via the Evening Standard:
“I don’t know [if they’ll be available for the next game], what I can control and help, I’ll put all my enthusiasm and work into that.”
“I can’t change that. We knew that before the game [they could not play against Brentford].”
Arsenal actually beat Chelsea in both of the side’s Premier League encounters last season, but those feats will be hard to follow if Lacazette or Aubameyang are unavailable.
The attack doesn’t look completely hopeless though, Emile Smith Rowe was a live-wire for the Gunners against Brentford and arguably the only bright spark for the side as he showed creativity and drive.