Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Arteta reacts to news that Cole Palmer could miss Chelsea’s trip to Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has emphasized that Chelsea’s strength lies in their team’s collective talent, not just in one individual, even as doubts loom over Cole Palmer’s participation in the upcoming match against Premier League frontrunners Arsenal.

Palmer, who leads Chelsea’s scoring charts with 23 goals across competitions this season, was seen with his left thigh bandaged during the team’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, hinting at a possible injury sustained at Wembley.

Despite this, Chelsea has indicated that Palmer’s absence in the forthcoming league game at the Emirates might be due to sickness rather than injury, as the prolific midfielder has not resumed training after their recent cup loss.

In a recent press conference, Mauricio Pochettino addressed concerns regarding Palmer’s availability for the anticipated London derby, stating that while the player’s readiness remains uncertain, his condition will be monitored closely in the next few days.

Quizzed on Palmer’s chances of featuring in north London, the Chelsea manager told reporters: ‘We will see tomorrow. We will assess him in the morning.

‘Today, no I don’t believe he can be involved but we will assess him tomorrow.

‘Even if he is good tomorrow, maybe he’s not in a condition to play. Hopefully he can recover as soon as possible.’

Chelsea, currently in ninth position in the Premier League standings, face the prospect of missing key defenders Marc Gusto and Ben Chilwell for their next match, as both sustained injuries during the weekend’s game at Wembley.

In his pre-match press briefing today, Arteta highlighted that Arsenal is gearing up for a challenging encounter, regardless of the lineup Chelsea puts forth on Tuesday night.

Asked for his reaction to news that Palmer is a doubt for the match, the Arsenal manager replied: ‘I don’t know… we have no control over their availability. We only have control over ours.

‘Whatever they put out, when you look at the squad, the quality that they have, it’s great.

‘I think they are doing very, very well and much better than people say. It will be a tough match, for sure.’

Pochettino drew parallels between Chelsea’s present challenges and the difficulties Arsenal faced in the recent past. However, Arteta is of the view that the paths the two clubs are on are ‘distinctly different’.

‘I think the journey of the clubs are very, very different. Nothing to compare in my opinion,’ the Spaniard added.

‘I have huge admiration for Mauricio because I’ve known him since 23 years ago and I really wish him all the best.

‘He’s an incredible manager, he’s a huge leader and he will inspire that club to get where they want to get, that’s for sure.’

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