Mikel Arteta has discussed his decision to drop Matteo Guendouzi from the Arsenal squad last week.
The midfielder was dropped from the squad for Sunday’s win against Newcastle because of an argument he had with Arteta and members of his coaching staff during the Gunners’ mid-season training camp in Dubai.
The 20-year-old trained with his team-mates on Wednesday and could make his return in the Europa League match against Olympiacos on Thursday.
He could end up straight back in the starting XI as Lucas Torreira will be absent with illness, while the north London outfit will be without Mesut Ozil for personal reasons.
And Arteta says his decision was down to the way the player behaves and trains as he brought him back into the squad.
“I just do my team selection and the squad in regards to how they train, how they play, how they behave,” Arteta said in a press conference on Wednesday ahead of their match in Greece.
“Every week it will be different. One week it will be one reason, one week it will be another reason.
“It was about the way we train, the way we play, the way we live. I want the best players for the game and I select them in relation to what I see on a daily basis.
Arteta makes his European debut as a coach when the Gunners face the Greek giants in the first leg of their last-32 tie.
And the 37-year-old is excited for the encounter at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
“It’s another big competition for us. We know the competition we will have tomorrow and we have to be ready,” he said.
“I am really excited. I’ve been watching them a lot. They are so used to dominating the league so we have to adapt and play the type of game the opponent requires.
“Collectively, they seem very alive with a clear idea of what they what to do. They don’t play in relation to the opponent – that’s what I like the most.”
January signing Pablo Mari is yet to make his senior debut but featured for the club’s reserves this week.
And Arteta is pleased with the 26-year-old centre-back’s work so far.
“Mari’s commitment has been really good. He did well the other day and hopefully soon we can start to use him,” he said.
After the Olympiacos game, Arsenal will return to London for a Premier League match at home to Everton on Sunday.