Monday, February 26, 2024

White and Partey return to first team training

Arsenal have confirmed that Ben White and Thomas Partey are back in training having joined the first team squad in Dubai.

Judging by footage shared on social media by the club, the pair are being eased back into things with one of the fitness coaches so we suspect any involvement in Tuesday’s friendly with AC Milan will be limited.

It’s unclear at this point when they arrived in Dubai. Partey exited the World Cup with Ghana after losing to Uruguay in their final group game on 2 December. White had left England’s camp the day before for ‘personal reasons’ and is believed to have spent some time back in London.

The next tranche of World Cup stars – Matt Turner, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Granit Xhaka –  travelled straight to Dubai from Qatar following their sides’ respective defeats.

After some time on the beach, Turner should be back in action first. The USMNT went out to Holland on 3 December. Japan and Switzerland then lost their last-16 knockout matches with Croatia and Portugal on the 5 and 6 December.

England’s defeat to France and Brazil’s crushing shootout exit at the hands of Croatia means Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel Martinelli will also get some rest before the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day. While that won’t come as much of a consolation to them at this point, it’s definitely a bonus for Arsenal.

William Saliba is the only Gunner still on duty. He’ll be required through until next Saturday at least with France facing Morocco in a semi-final and then either the final or third-placed play-off. As things stand, he’s only played 27 minutes.

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The big misses will be Jesus and Saliba. We have an internal solution in White at CB and Tomiyasu at RB, but we need to get a high calibre forward if we are serious about the title.


Given his limited game time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Saliba back in time for Brighton.


I’ll say it again – HFB was available for ONE million when he left Chelsea…
Peanuts for the bloke who just toppled TH14 as France all-time top scorer!


To the muppet who downvoted this – why wouldn’t pay nothing for a bloke who:

  • knows the club inside and out;
  • has never uttered a bad word about us, before, during or after his time here;
  • brings zero baggage and would be a perfect 1 or 2 season stop-gap;
  • is nailed on to get a least 8-12 goals a season;
  • does Jesus’ job of hold-up play and, oh yes!, is rather handy in the air!

Would this Arsenal team in prime form with Jesus win the World Cup? I’m saying yes. Ramsdale would have saved that French first goal … Prickford too short.

Brady’s bunch

Any good club team should be better prepared than a national side.

A Different George

I think “better prepared” is the point. Give Deschamps or Southgate or Tite the same players with weeks of training and four or five matches to prepare, and they would be pretty damn good. Not sure you could say that, at this point, about any of the other countries.


Yes, international football is an enjoyable yet simplistic game vs modern club football.

Teryima Adi

Ramsdale has conceded softer goals than that.


Good to have these players back. We should be almost at full strength on Boxing Day. Even Saliba, who will not have played himself to exhaustion during the World Cup break.

By the way, what is it with sports journalists being so fond of calling USA “the USMNT”? It really grates.


Perhaps because our women’s team is stronger and usually gets top billing


I think that must be the reason. However, where I am from, the English women’s national team is also currently more successful than the men’s and yet we don’t use the same tiresome, long winded acronym. Both teams are just called “England” and I hope it stays that way.


Ben White was just waiting for England to drop out before releasing pictures LOL


Could Saliba still play on boxing-day/the game after? Don’t really see the point in giving him time off as he’s not really played a great deal and we really could do with his calmness at the back….

Eric Blair

Fitness-wise he surely could play, but I’d be happy to see White at CB and Tomiyasu at RB, mental and physical fitness issues notwithstanding.


Hope Ben is ok, he’s going to have a massive second half of the season 💪

malcolm alden

he’s fine. rumour is that he had a bust up with the assistant coach. don’t think he really enjoyed being called up to the National Team.


Would suggest White may have had an argument if training with Arsenal 50min from Qatar on the day England playing France. Sterling flew home for personal reasons and made it back to the squad.

Good to see him back though.

El Mintero

Rumors are he had a bust up with one of southgate’s assistants and was sent packing.


Looking forward to seeing Ben White at cb again. I feel his passing is more progressive. If Tomi is back at right back, I feel we will still be pretty strong.


I am surprised that little has been made of Benny Blanco’s early return from the world cup English squad to me if it is true it seems to be favouritism and low-key bullying. i struggle to see why White would be held accountable for someone elses job. what is the point of the coaching team?

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