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The real reason why Ghana dropped Thomas Partey from AFCON squad

Mikel Arteta has disclosed the main reason why Thomas Partey was excluded from the AFCON squad representing Ghana.

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Thomas Partey
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Mikel Arteta has given the main reason behind Thomas Partey’s exclusion from the 27-man squad set to represent Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire.

Although initially included in Ghana’s provisional 55-man squad, Partey was ultimately omitted from the final group. Anticipated to participate in the tournament with hopes of being fit for the FA Cup clash against Liverpool, Partey’s plans were derailed after being ruled out from the fixture.

Arteta is optimistic about Partey’s imminent return to Arsenal, emphasising that the midfielder, who suffered a thigh injury during a training session in October, is still not fully engaged in team training. 

The decision to keep Thomas Partey out of the Ghana squad was based on a cautious approach to his comeback. 

Arteta stated, “It was about common sense. He had a long-term injury, and while he was eager to join his national team, he’s still far from training with the team, making his involvement impractical.”

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta sends intimidating message to Arsenal players ahead of Liverpool FA Cup clash.

Partey’s absence has posed a challenge for Arsenal, particularly given their injury woes in defense, where the Ghanaian’s versatility, including the ability to cover at right-back, would have been valuable. 

When questioned about the timeline for Partey’s return, Arteta expressed hope that it would be a matter of weeks, contingent on his progress in the upcoming training sessions. 

Arteta added, “Hopefully it is weeks. When and how many weeks is going to depend a little bit on how [long] the next step, training with the team, will take him. But he is progressing well.”

Looking ahead to the FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool, Arsenal are anticipating the potential return of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who missed the previous Premier League match against Fulham due to a calf injury. 

Arteta provided an update, stating, “He’s progressing well. We have another training session tomorrow. We’ll evaluate if he’s available to play and ready to start the game.”

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