Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has sustained a hamstring injury and may not be available for the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley according to the club manager Mikel Arteta.
Mustafi, who was out of favor under former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has established himself as a key player for the Gunners under Mikel Arteta and started 9 games before the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
However, after suffering a hamstring during the game against the Citizens, he was forced to miss the Premier League clash against Aston Villa in a 1 nil loss.
He has undergone a scan and Mikel Arteta has revealed fears that the Germany international may not return in time to face city rivals, Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
“I doubt it,” said Arteta, when asked if Mustafi would be fit for the final.
“We have to see how he evolves in the next few days, but at the moment I doubt it.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal will play their final Premier League game against Watford, currently sit 10th in the Premier League. The Gunners cannot finish above the eighth position and it will be their worst league finish since 1995.
Therefore, they’ll have to rely on a place in the Premier League by winning the FA Cup. If they emerge victoriously over the Blues, it will be their fourth FA Cup success since 2014 although Arteta has noted that winning the FA Cup won’t make up for the poor run in the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
When asked if an eighth-place finish and FA Cup triumph would be good enough, Arteta replied:
“No, For me, this club deserves the best and you have to be fighting for every title.
“Obviously after everything that happened, if we can win the final and qualify for Europe, we can say it’s OK. But it’s not the level for this football club.”
Mikel Arteta is hoping to play a strong side in the game against relegation-threatened Watford out of respect for other clubs who are also battling against relegation. This is coming, although he would have been tempted to play a weaker side with the FA Cup final in view.
“I’m going to assess the squad and how they are feeling,” he said.
“Ideally I want to play as strong a team as I can.
“We have to respect there are a few teams in the relegation battle and we are responsible for that as well.”