Reiss Nelson became the latest casualty in Saturday night’s friendly (Photos: Getty)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Reiss Nelson’s injury doesn’t look good against Juventus, but he is optimistic a trio of suspended players are close to a return and making good progress.

The Gunners almost completely dominated their Italian opponents in the Emirates on Saturday night but lost 2-0, with Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding each scoring own goals in extra time in each half.

To make matters worse, Nelson – who was looking good for the World Cup before the start of the season – had to be helped off the field midway through the first half while holding onto his thigh.

Arsenal are already thin in attack with several players yet to return from Qatar, while Gabriel Jesus could be sidelined for several months after knee surgery.

Arteta fears Nelson will also be sidelined for a while, although he insists Arsenal will not change their January transfer plans because of this.

When asked about the winger’s injury and whether plans to deploy a striker will be accelerated when the window opens again, Arteta replied: “We don’t know how big the injury is. That he had to leave the field immediately is not good news, especially for someone like Reiss who is very powerful and fast.

“Let’s wait and see what happens. We know what to do and that doesn’t change the plans.”

Arsenal were unlucky to lose to Juventus (Image: Getty)

Emile Smith Rowe, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu were all absent from the squad against Juventus, but Arteta hopes they can integrate more in the coming days and weeks.

The Spaniard continued: ‘[Emile] couldn’t train for the past few days but hopefully he can start [to train] next week.

“He has been out for a while, he needs some time to get back up to speed. We really need him and we will welcome him with both arms because he is a very important player for us. We need him fit at the field.

“Alex is making good progress and Tomi is walking on the field. Hopefully we will get the international players [who have been at the World Cup] come back this week and tomorrow we will all be watching William Saliba to see if he can win the World Championship.”

As Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli gradually return to action, Arteta adds: “They immediately get back into the rhythm, shape and form of the team.

“We are waiting for them and they want to go back so badly. I’ve spoken to them both. Gabi was here today with a big smile and a lot of energy. He’s ready to go again. It will be a huge boost for the team.”