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Arsenal: Bellerin injury update; Mustafi targeting success; Perez set to return against Southampton

Arsenal could be boosted by the return of Hector Bellerin before their Premier League match against Manchester City on the 18th December. Sky Sports report that the right back plans to start running again this week and that his recovery is going better than expected. Bellerin suffered ankle ligament damage in the North London derby last month and was expected to miss the next month of action. It would be a huge boost if he returns for the match against City as it could have major ramifications for the title race and Arsenal need to have their best players available.

“It’s going really good. Better than I expected,”

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“But I am going to try to be running from this week and hopefully I’ll be back on the pitch in less than four weeks.”

The Gunners currently have problems at right back after Mathieu Debuchy suffered a serious injury at the weekend while deputising for Bellerin. Carl Jenkinson isn’t fully fit either and Gabriel was forced to play out of position after Debuchy was withdrawn on Sunday. It will be a position that is targeted until the return of Bellerin and Arsenal need to watch out for that over the coming weeks.

Shkodran Mustafi has been talking about the club’s position in the table and he is hoping that they can challenge for silverware this season. The Gunners have never failed to finish outside of the top four under Arsene Wenger, but the supporters want more and it looks like the players do too.

“I would be happy to stay on top, the job was to get the three points [against Bournemouth].”

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“Then in two days and three days we have again the next game and it keeps going and going.

“There is no point to be happy now – there are still a lot of games to go.”

The German is new to the club and has improved the side’s defence, already forming a good relationship with Laurent Koscielny. He is right to be ambitious and it could be that Arsenal need to put up a serious challenge for either the Premier League or the Champions League in order to keep their best players. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are two players that should be competing for trophies at the very top of the game. Neither player has committed to the club and a serious challenge for a major honour could be needed to keep both at the club.

The Telegraph report that Lucas Perez could be ready to make his comeback in the League Cup quarter-final against Southampton on Wednesday night. It is a great opportunity for Arsenal to reach the first semi-final of the season and Arsene Wenger will look to give some of his fringe players a chance to prove themselves. The Spaniard has showed flashes of quality since moving to England, but he has struggled to break into the first team ahead of Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez. Wenger will want to see what his new signing can do against an established Premier League side and a good performance could earn him further opportunities in the Premier League.

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It is likely that the Arsenal manager will rest several of his key men ahead of a busy Christmas period, with Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott set to sit out of the match. Perez was signed for £17 million during the summer and he needs to prove to the coaching staff and supporters that he was worth the outlay. He offers something different to Sanchez and Giroud, but he needs to adjust to the physicality of English football before he can play a big part for the first team. This is his chance to shine and he must take it.

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