Arsenal receive timely injury boost ahead of Villarreal clash

Arsenal centre-half David Luiz is back in training in what is a timely injury boost for the Gunners ahead of their Europa League clash with Villarreal.

The north Londoners travel to Spain for Thursday's first-leg and could yet have the Brazilian available.

Luiz has not played since March 21 as he dealt with a knee injury which required surgery.

Mikel Arteta will now have to assess whether the 34-year-old is capable of taking part in the European encounter later this week, reports the Evening Standard.

Luiz has been a regular for Arsenal when fit but faces an uncertain future at the Emirates.

His contract will be up in the summer and there has been little progression in talks regarding an extension.

The Brazilian was given a one-year deal last season but continues to be an important figure for Arteta, who is working with a young squad.

Luiz has bags of experience and has won the Europa League with Chelsea back in 2013.

Thursday night's game takes on greater importance given Arsenal's league position, with European qualification looking increasingly unlikely.

Arteta said after Friday's loss to Everton that it "is becoming very difficult mathematically to achieve that (a top six finish) now."

The Spaniard could be without both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for this week's trip to Spain however.

Lacazette sustained a hamstring issue during the draw with Fulham 10 days ago whilst Aubameyang has only just recovered from malaria.

Arsenal's clash with Villarreal will see Arteta come up against the man he replaced at the Emirates, Unai Emery.

The 49-year-old lasted 18 months in north London before being axed despite leading them to the 2019 Europa League final.

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