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5 notable absentees from Arsenal’s first pre-season friendly

5 notable absentees from Arsenal’s first pre-season friendly

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Mikel Arteta talking to the Arsenal team (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Mikel Arteta talking to the Arsenal team (Photo via Arsenal.com)

When news broke of Arsenal’s first pre-season friendly victory on Saturday, nobody was expecting the Gunners team to be a first-choice lineup.

After all, plenty of members of the squad are still on holiday after the internationals in early-to-mid June. The players remaining are either not internationals, or they missed the international break through injury or non-selection.

All the same, there were five Arsenal players whose absences were more notable.

Kieran Tierney

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal breaks away from Daniel Podence of Woverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on February 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal breaks away from Daniel Podence of Woverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney has been absent since early April with a knee injury, his season ending the same week Thomas Partey was ruled out of action.

But whilst Partey was back in action and impressive in the friendly on Saturday, Tierney is still clearly not fully fit.

Fabio Vieira

Fabio Vieira with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Fabio Vieira with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Summer signing Fabio Vieira is also currently out injured, though he’s played down reports on the severity of the issue. Regardless, his foot issue certainly kept him out on Saturday.

Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal training
Emile Smith Rowe in training with Arsenal (Photo via afcstuff on Twitter)

Whilst Folarin Balogun returned to action with Arsenal at the weekend, after playing for the England u21s in June, Emile Smith Rowe didn’t.

Why was one of the England u21s back, whilst the other wasn’t? The answer is most likely because Smith Rowe’s club season dragged on a little longer than Balogun’s.

But it could also be an attempt to help the midfielder get over his niggling injury problems from the last campaign.

Miguel Azeez

Miguel Azeez and Charlie Patino in pre-season training (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Miguel Azeez and Charlie Patino in pre-season training (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Whilst the likes of Charlie Patino, Matt Smith, and Salah-Eddine Oulad M’hand all featured against Ipswich Town, fellow youth midfielder Miguel Azeez was absent.

Azeez was in the early pre-season sessions with the first-team, but his sudden absence over the last few days suggests either an injury setback or an impending transfer.

Zak Swanson

Zak Swanson pulls on the captain's armband for the Arsenal u23s against Bromley FC (Photo by Dan Critchlow)
Zak Swanson pulls on the captain’s armband for the Arsenal u23s against Bromley FC (Photo by Dan Critchlow)

As with Azeez, Swanson was initially involved in pre-season first-team training, but he’s since disappeared. Again, either an injury or a transfer are very possible. We should get some clarity in the coming days.

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