Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph (aka one of two actually reliable Arsenal journalists) has a few bits of juicy information in advance of Arsenal's FA Cup tie against Burnley this Saturday. The first, and biggest, is that Mohamed Elneny, is set to make his debut for the club this weekend. Elneny has been in the matchday squad in every match since his signing was made official on January 14th, but has yet to feature for the Gunners.
Wilson further reports that his central midfield partner will likely be Calum Chambers. The young Englishman has featured as a defensive midfielder in a couple of matches and has looked promising. That particular pairing would seem to indicate that Elneny, who many hoped could slide along side Aaron Ramsey and play the defensive midfield role as soon as possible, will make his debut as a box-to-box midfielder.
Francis Coquelin, who has been out of commission since late November, is also apparently likely to make the matchday squad. While it will certainly take a bit of time for him to regain match fitness, his return will be a welcome sight for eyes sore from watching Mathieu Flamini play defensive midfielder in the Year of Our Lord 2016.
David Ospina and Kieran Gibbs are also listed as probable starters in Wilson's report. The former has not featured for Arsenal since his horror show against Olympiakos at the end of September. Tomas Rosicky and Alex Iwobi are also set to get playing time as Arsene Wenger looks to rest his stars after recent stumbles in the league.
Wilson closes his piece with an interesting tidbit on Arsenal youth prospect Gedion Zelalem, currently on loan with Rangers. Apparently, the American will get a shot to make the first-team in the offseason and has a good chance to make the squad due to the expected departures of Flamini, Rosicky, and club captain Mikel Arteta. That Wilson mentioned him in this piece seems to indicate that the club are pleased with his development - there are numerous other midfielders out on loan (Jon Toral and Isaac Hayden come to mind) that were not listed.
The omissions are hard not to take as a sign for the future of those prospects. I've made it fairly clear I was not/am not a fan of his loan to the Scottish second division, but Zelalem remains an exciting prospect. After a few months where there was some concern over whether or not Zelalem would make it at the club, this is a positive sign.