Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal are back in Europa League action on Thursday night, and Mikel Arteta’s side were put through their paces in training on Tuesday.

The likes of Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette were both spotted in action, raising hopes that they could be back to face Villarreal.

Arteta’s men trail 2-1 from the first leg in Spain, meaning they have work to do back at the Emirates Stadium this week as they chase a spot in the final.

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It may not make many headlines, but goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was spotted in training too, suggesting that he may be on the bench again on Thursday.

The 19-year-old stopper has been part of an interesting Europa League rotation, joining Karl Hein and James Hillson in being picked a third-choice stopper for European games.

For the first leg against Slavia Prague, it was Hein on the bench behind Mat Ryan and Bernd Leno. For the second leg it was Hillson, and against Villarreal last week, Okonkwo got the nod.

It now looks like the teenager has won the battle to be named on the bench for this week’s game too, and it may raise some questions about his future.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Football.London reported in March that Okonkwo is set to leave Arsenal when his contract comes to an end this summer, and there has been little news on an update.

Arsenal will seemingly name him in their matchday squad for two European games in a row though, meaning there may yet be a chance for him to win a new deal an extend his stay with Arsenal.

Okonkwo seems to be a talented young stopper, and whilst it’s only a third-choice role as a substitute, being picked is still a compliment – and possibly a nod to a longer future with the Gunners than thought at couple of months ago.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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