Team news: Soucek in contention for Arsenal return, Yarmolenko update
West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek is in contention to return to Premier League action at Arsenal, manager David Moyes has confirmed.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s trip to the Emirates Stadium this weekend, Moyes revealed that the Czech Republic international could be in line to feature on Saturday afternoon.
After impressing in his opening two-and-a-half games in Claret and Blue, Soucek had been expected to be missing for approximately three weeks after suffering a low grade injury to his hip flexor at Liverpool on 24 February.
Nevertheless, the January signing from Slavia Prague has since mounted an impressive recovery to return to full training, and could be named in Moyes’ matchday squad to face the Gunners. The Scot also revealed that Andriy Yarmolenko, who last featured in December, is nearing full recovery from his thigh problem.
“We’re getting much closer; we’ve nearly got a full squad,” the manager observed. “Tomas Soucek’s doing very well and he’s just about match-fit, very close to it now, so he’s recovered very quickly.
“Yarmolenko’s back in training so we’re very close to getting everybody back fit. He’s not available [this weekend], he’s only just started training, but Tomas has got a very good chance.”
The status of his squad is welcome news to Moyes, whose side suffered a spate of unfortunate injuries within matches upon the manager’s return to the Club in January.
We’ve suddenly started to get a few players back from injury and we’ve made a couple of really good acquisitions in January which has added to the squad
The Glaswegian is well aware that, to build on last weekend’s impressive victory over Southampton and make the most of West Ham’s ten Premier League games to go, every player’s contribution could prove vital to securing their top-flight status.
“I think, overall, we’re without Ryan Fredericks at the moment with a shoulder injury, but apart from that we’re very close to everybody being fit,” he explained. “We’re at a good place at this moment in time.
“It’s slightly different to when I came in January; we were short on players. We’ve suddenly started to get a few players back from injury and we’ve made a couple of really good acquisitions in January which have added to the squad.
“It’s given us more competition, more depth, so hopefully the squad we’ve got will be good enough to stay up.”