Thomas Partey: Injuries cause Arsenal midfielder to withdrawn from Ghana squad for March friendlies

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Thomas Partey will not be part of Ghana’s squad during the March international friendlies because the midfielder wants more time to build his fitness following a hamstring injury which kept him out of Premier League action for Arsenal for more than four months.

Ghana play Nigeria in Marrakech on Friday and meet Uganda in the Moroccan city on March 26 but will again be without influential party, who decided not to play for the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in January because of his injury-hit season.

Partey played club football for the first time since October in a 25-minute substitute appearance during Arsenal’s 6-0 win at Sheffield United on March 4.

The 30-year-old was brought on for a minute of their subsequent 2-1 victory at home to Brentford.

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Former national team boss Chris Hughton used Partey for a total of 111 minutes across two October friendlies in the last games the two-time Ghana Player of the Year took part in before his current comeback.

Leaders Arsenal have a potentially thrilling run-in ahead of them and the availability of Partey for a crucial stretch of games could give Mikel Arteta a significant boost.

Arsenal injury news: Tomiyasu back

The Gunners are above Liverpool on goal difference and a point ahead of reigning champions Manchester City.

All three contenders have 10 games left to play, starting with Arsenal’s visit to City on March 31.

Harry Kane – a nemesis for Arsenal during his time with former club Tottenham – and Bayern Munich head to Emirates Stadium on April 9 for the first leg of the hosts’ first appearance in the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals for 14 years.

Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, who has played one half in the top flight since December 2 because of a calf injury, has returned to training but not been called up by Japan.

Thirteen of Arteta’s players are expected to take part in friendlies, including a potential meeting between Brazil defender Gabriel and England’s Aaron Ramsdale, Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka when the Three Lions host the Selecao at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Leandro Trossard is in Belgium’s squad, while David Raya is with Spain, Jorginho has been named by Italy and Martin Odegaard is likely to feature for Norway.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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