Arsenal injury news: Arteta without seven first-team stars for Molde as Saka update given

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be without five regular members of his first-team squad, plus two long-term absentees, for the Europa League clash away at Molde on Thursday. Arsenal can clinch qualification to the knockout stages if they avoid defeat in Norway. The Gunners have won all three of their group matches so far.

Centre-back Pablo Mari (ankle) and young forward Gabriel Martinelli (knee) both remain absent having not featured for several months.

But Mari has now returned to full training, with Martinelli set to follow suit in the next couple of weeks.

The pair have been joined by five other players who are unavailable for the trip to Molde.

Summer signing Thomas Partey remains sidelined with the thigh injury he picked up in the 3-0 loss to Aston Villa earlier this month.

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Arsenal say Partey is “progressing” in his rehabiliation but do not mention if he will be available for the visit of Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday.

Bukayo Saka has not travelled to Norway after being forced off in last weekend’s goalless draw at Leeds United.

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However, the England international only suffered a dead leg and will be available against Wolves.

Willian was substituted at half time at Elland Road with a calf problem and will be assessed ahead of the Wolves clash after not flying with the squad.

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Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac make up the quintet of players unavailable for Arteta.

The duo both tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty.

Arsenal say they are asymptomatic and are following protocols ahead of returning to training.

Meanwhile, David Luiz is back available for Arteta after the birth of his daughter last Saturday.

A depleted Arsenal squad means there may be chances for a number of academy graduates.

Midfielders Miguel Azeez (18) and Ben Cottrell (19) could both make their first-team debuts.

Striker Folarin Balogun (19) could make his second appearance after coming off the bench against Dundalk last month.

Balogun is out of contract at the end of the season but the Gunners are in talks to extend his stay at the club.

Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah could both earn starts and Emile Smith Rowe could make his first appearance for the Gunners under Arteta.

Smith Rowe spent the second half of last season on loan at Huddersfield and has struggled with injury problems this term.

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