Arsenal in late decision on Arteta fitness - Wenger

The Spanish midfielder has yet to play for the Gunners this season but, if he checks out positively from an examination on Saturday, could feature against Stoke City
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta could be ready to return from injury against Stoke City, manager Arsene Wenger has revealed.

The Spaniard's fitness will be evaluated on Saturday to see whether he can make his first appearance of 2013-14.

"The only player who could come back is Arteta," Wenger told the press on Friday. "He is back in full training today [and] a decision will be made tomorrow morning.

"He is a leader - we are happy to have him back."

Aaron Ramsey has impressed in Arteta's absence and the Gunners boss was keen to praise the in-form Welshman, enthusing: "He has improved tremendously. He has a great engine, great spirit and always wants to be better."

Forward Theo Walcott had earlier spoken of his confidence that Arsenal will challenge for titles this season and Wenger was quietly optimistic.

"I believe we have a chance [to win the Premier League]," he added. "My full energy has to be on making sure we grab that chance.

"[But] it's too early to assess who will be in the fight [for the title] and who will not be in the fight."

Wenger also hopes that there is more still to come from record signing Mesut Ozil after the German immediately settled in with an assist in his first Premier League match.

"He has integrated well," said the pleased manager. "I think he's not at the top physically yet. We are very pleased to have him with us."