‘I think so’: Mikel Arteta replies when asked if Arsenal star will be fit for Tottenham trip
Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Ben White will return to the starting line-up for Arsenal's trip to Tottenham
Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Ben White will return to the starting line-up for Arsenal’s north London derby showdown with Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night.
The defender has missed Arsenal’s last two Premier League games against West Ham United and Leeds United due to a muscular injury but is now closing in on a comeback for Arteta’s side.
The Gunners will be hoping to welcome back the central defender for their crunch clash against their bitter north London rivals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this week.
And Arsenal manager Arteta has now revealed that he his hoping to welcome the 24-year-old England international back to his team for Thursday night’s showdown.
Asked whether White will be fit for the north London derby at his post-match news conference after the 2-1 win over Leeds on Sunday, Arteta replied: “I think so, he’s been starting to do a little bit of work now on the pitch and we want everybody available because we know that game is so important.”
White has been a regular fixture in the Gunners team this season, notching up 36 appearances in all competitions in his first campaign at The Emirates following his transfer from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer.
Arsenal head into Thursday’s clash knowing that a win against Spurs would secure their place in the Champions League via a top-four finish.
Arteta admitted that the game could end up being a “defining moment” in the north London club’s season as they bid to finish in the top four for the first time since 2016.
He said: “We want to prepare and go for that match like we always do, with the same enthusiasm, but knowing obviously that this can be a defining moment and that’s an extra level of motivation and another layer for us to really go for it and I can’t wait to play that game.”
Arsenal are currently four points ahead of Tottenham, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool FC at Anfield on Saturday.
Spurs defender Ben Davies admitted that the Lilywhites “can’t wait” for Thursday night’s showdown against their bitter local rivals following their impressive showing at Anfield.
“We knew the importance of the result at Anfield, and a draw continues our momentum, now we’re ready for the big one,” said Davies, speaking to Spurs’ official website.
“We can’t wait. These are the matches you want to be involved in. We probably wouldn’t have expected to be here before the manager came in, he’s put us in this position to really have a go.”