Arsenal’s Gabriel has been called up for the Brazil national team who have two fixtures during this next fortnight. His debut could come against Colombia on November 11th or Argentina on November 16th. Emile Smith Rowe has also been added to the England squad after one or two others who’d been selected had dropped out through ‘injury’.
Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale are already in the senior England squad of course. Young Albert Sambi Lokonga returns to the Belgium squad, Takehiro Tomiyasu will be away with Japan and Martin Odegaard with Norway. Kieran Tierney, despite only just returning from injury, will be with Scotland. Daniel Ballard has joined up with the Northern Ireland squad. Incredible really as all are 23 years old or younger. Karl Hein and Omar Rekik, both just 19 years old, are already regulars for Estonia and Tunisia respectively.
The list doesn’t stop there though as a few more mature Arsenal players will be away during the next two weeks. Bernd Leno, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Sean Kolasinac and Mo Elneny, whilst both Nuno Tavares will be on duty for Portugal and Flo Balogun England in the under 21’s.
I think I’m right in saying that the second of the two international fixtures take place on the Tuesday of next week which should mean everyone will be back by Wednesday. Even Takehiro Tomiyasu as Japan kick off at 4pm UK time, a week today. Two full days of preparation for the trip to Anfield.
I know I’ve missed out Thomas Partey but that’s because I’ve no idea if he’s fit or not.
Even though so many players are leaving the club during this break, there are still plenty left for Mikel Arteta to work with. Plus, there’s the academy players to add into the training sessions. Some of whom Mikel Arteta might need to turn to in the New Year.
Talking of which, Granit Xhaka might just be back sooner than we think as he’s posted photos of himself back in action. He’s been running with one of the Arsenal coaches which is good news. There’s a long way for him to go yet but at least he’s out there on the training ground strengthening up his legs. Regardless of what you and I might think about his abilities, I think he still remains a key player in Mikel Arteta’s mind. But, having seen AMN put in such a strong performance against a bullish Watford team at the weekend, his position in the midfield pecking order might just be on the rise. I’m glad to see him concentrating of Arsenal, concentrating on his performance too because his Arsenal career depends on him really. Work hard and he’ll get the extra minutes he craves I’m sure, especially as Mo Elneny seems to be on his way to Turkey in the January transfer window. Or at least that’s what NN headlines would have us believe.
Reality is, none of us know what Arsenal will be doing in the winter transfer window but I don’t think the club will stand still. Not anymore. Things are improving but the squad still needs trimming on one hand, yet adding to in the other, if that makes sense. Whether that can be done in the New Year or the summer, I’ve no idea, but the rebuild is definitely heading in the right direction.
See you in the comments.