Four Arsenal stars can give Mikel Arteta headache for Tottenham clash vs Wimbledon

Mikel Arteta post game press conference Burnley

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is set to give a number of unsettled figures a chance to impress against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday evening. With a crunch north London derby against Tottenham looming less than a week away, it will be the final chance for those on the verge of first-team action to make their case to the Gunners boss that they should be involved. Express Sport looks at four players in particular who could work their way into Arteta’s plans based on Tuesday’s performance. 

Bernd Leno

It is no secret that since the introduction of Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal’s goalkeeper situation is unclear. 

Leno will wince at the fact that the former Sheffield United man has kept three consecutive clean sheets since being thrown into the action.

Most recent of which was against Burnley, where the Gunners recorded their second successive win after a dismal start to the Premier League season. 

All of a sudden, Leno finds himself in a situation where he must up his game or settle for a spot on the bench, an ultimatum which was essentially the whole point of bringing in Ramsdale to begin with. 

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The 24-year-old has featured in all of Arsenal’s past three Premier League games, as well as the 6-0 demolition of West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup second round. 

One gets the feeling that, aside from Thomas Partey, a second spot in Arteta’s midfield duo remains up for grabs. 

Having branded himself as a central-midfielder and nothing more after being used at wing-back in the past, Maitland-Niles is one such player who could make a case. 

His deadline day antics on social media indicated that game time is now a priority for the England international, but he will have to fight his way into the side.  

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Gabriel Martinelli

When a team has scored two goals in their first five Premier League games of the season, and only one from open play, attacking spots are always going to be attainable. 

Martinelli is still only 20, and he showed so much promise during the 2019/20 season when he burst onto the scene with 10 goals in all competitions. 

Gunners fans have not given up hope that he can return to that kind of form. 

He made a habit out of torturing overmatched opposition during his breakthrough season, so Tuesday’s tie with AFC Wimbledon will represent another golden opportunity to get his Arsenal career back on track. 

Alexandre Lacazette

The same principles which could allow Martinelli to earn a spot back in the team also apply to Lacazette. 

The Frenchman notched in the previous round against West Brom, although he has been absent for much of the season after testing positive for COVID-19.  

Last term, he finished as the Gunners’ top scorer with 13 in the Premier League, and they could certainly do with that kind of form returning ahead of a tense north London derby. 

At 30 years old, Lacazette has a point to prove this season that he still has plenty to offer Arteta’s side. 

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