September 8, 2016 10:23:07 pm
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster is ready for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal despite being ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifier on Sunday, manager Claude Puel has said.
Forster injured his arm in training last month and was replaced by club mate Alex McCarthy in the England squad against Slovakia.
“I think it’s positive for Fraser and he looks ready to play,” Puel told the club’s website.
“He will be okay for Saturday, no problem, so that’s positive. It was also interesting to see Alex McCarthy called up to the England team. It’s a good thing to have two goalkeepers with them.”
However, Puel said attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal, signed last month, is unlikely to make an appearance at the Emirates Stadium.
The 22-year-old injured his knee playing for Ligue 1 side Lille earlier this year and had to undergo an operation.
“Boufal has a little injury for the moment. He worked very well, every day, but now it’s important he make good work with a strong knee. When he comes back with us he can play at a good level,” Puel added.
“I don’t know (when he will be fit). I think one month or more to get back to a good level.”
Southampton are yet to taste victory in the league this season, while Arsenal have four points from the opening three games.
But Southampton players are still upbeat and treating the Arsenal game as a good test, midfielder Steven Davis said.
The side finished sixth last season to secure a place in the Europa League but have started their new league campaign with two draws and a loss in their opening three games.
“I think we’re getting better with each game since the manager has come in, so if we can continue that then we’ll get that first win and three points so things can only get better from there,” Davis told the website.
Davis, who captained Northern Ireland to the last-16 stage of Euro 2016, believes Southampton’s squad will settle following last week’s international break.
“There’s been a lot of changes again which disrupted pre-season…with the players coming back from the Euros and then the players going off again after three games in, so it’s been tough to get time on the training pitch, but I think we’ll only get better as the season goes on.”
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