The unpopular international break is currently in full swing and a number of Arsenal players have traveled to different corners of the world. Some have remained behind, simply not called up by their respective national teams, or nursing injuries.
One of the latter group is Thomas Partey, who came off at halftime in Arsenal’s shocking defeat at home at the hands of Aston Villa before the break with a hamstring problem. He posted on Instagram to show support to his international teammates and praised Andre Ayew who netted twice in a 2-0 victory for Ghana over Sudan.
However, there are still no news on the extent of the injury which prevented the 27-year-old from travelling to meet up with his national side. Hamstring issues can be tricky, anything from a mild tightness where the player is ready to play the following match, or it can sometimes mean as long as several months of absence. Arteta will be hopeful that the £45 million defensive midfielder will be ready to face Leeds United at Elland Road on November 22nd, but that is by no means a certainty at the moment.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has banged in his 26th goal for Gabon, a winner against Gambia in the qualifications for the African Cup of Nations, extending his record as his country’s top goalscorer. Saint-Etienne’s Denis Bouanga opened the scoring for Auba’s team in the 10th minute, and the Arsenal man netted the second in a 2-1 triumph in the 55th.
After the Villa shock, the Gunners face another potentially tricky side after the break, with Marcelo Bielsa’s men known to give trouble to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. Arsenal have done that too recently, but Arteta will need all his players who are on international duty right now to come back without fresh fitness problems.