Arsenal handed huge worry ahead of north London derby as key midfielder picks up injury on international duty

Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal

Thomas Partey has handed Arsenal a big injury scare ahead of the north London derby after suffering an injury in the warm-up of Ghana’s friendly clash with Brazil.

The midfielder was set to start for the Black Stars in France on Friday evening. However, he was forced to withdraw from the contest a few minutes before kick-off after suffering a knock.

While Ghana did not disclose the issue, the Gunners will be concerned ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s men go into the game top of the table but only a point clear of Spurs in third place.

However, they could be without Partey, who has already missed three games with a knee problem this season.

The 29-year-old was back in Arteta’s side for the 3-0 win at Brentford last time out. But there is a growing concern he may now have another spell on the sidelines.

Injury issues a problem for Partey

The midfielder has endured a torrid time with injuries since signing from Atletico Madrid. He missed 10 league games with muscular and hip issues in his first season with the club.

He also started last season with an ankle issue and then ended up missing the last nine Premier League outings with another complaint.

Arsenal already have concerns over Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who both have calf problems.

Odegaard was allowed to join up with the Norway squad. However, coach Stale Solbakken claimed he could be used in a coaching role if not fit to feature in games against Slovenia and Serbia.

“We are in regular dialogue with him and [Mikel] Arteta and Arsenal’s health sector, as it is called in Danish. Nothing has been decided there, so there is still hope,” Solbakken said on Monday.

“He’s not doing well now. Now it’s a matter of getting a final decision on whether he can be in both or one game. We’ll certainly see him in Norway, either as a player or a ‘fourth coach’. It means a lot to have him.”

Struggling duo expected to face Tottenham

Latest reports do, however, suggest that both Odegaard and Zinchenko should be fit to face Tottenham.

However, Partey’s absence would be a huge blow given how impressive his partnership with Granit Xhaka has become.

The latter has completely turned his career around at The Emirates and has been outstanding this season.

Indeed, after the win at Brentford, in which he captained Arsenal, Xhaka thanked the fans for their support.

The away fans serenaded the Swiss star throughout and after the game, chanting his name.

In a message to Arsenal fans after the win in west London, Xhaka said: “Hey guys, Granit here. Great win, great result, thanks for your support.

“You’ve been amazing but as well for myself to hear what happened today, to say my name, to sing the song for me.

“It’s a very, very special day and thank you again, see you soon. All the best guys.”

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