Thomas Partey and Gabriel return for Arsenal ahead of FA Cup tie with Newcastle

Thomas Partey, Gabriel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England.

Arsenal have received a huge boost with the knowledge that summer signings Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes have returned to the club from injury and Covid-19 isolation respectively.

Gabriel has been a huge hit since his arrival from Lille and has performed excellently in a side which has struggled at the start of the campaign. The Brazilian youth international was sent off in the match against Southampton for a second yellow card before reportedly coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19 before testing positive himself and missing the matches against Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom.

Gunners fans were excited to see the defender take to social media to confirm the news he had returned and would be available for selection.

Interestingly, the replacement for Gabriel during his absence has been Spanish defender Pablo Mari. The former Flamengo centre-half signed for Arsenal in January of 2020 and was permanently acquired in the following summer. Due to injury, he had missed plenty of football throughout lockdown and into the new season.

However, he has impressed in his matches alongside Rob Holding keeping two clean sheets and and performing solidly against Chelsea. The Spaniard did give away a penalty against the Blues towards the end of the match, which Bernd Leno saved, but despite this had a professional display. Whether Gabriel comes straight back in will be interesting to see.

One of the biggest disappointments for Arsenal this season has been the lack of Thomas Partey in the starting line-ups. The Ghanaian international was signed as a huge coup for the club after activating his £45 million release clause from Atletico Madrid.

However, injuries have hampered his progression at the North London club and he has only been able to complete 90 minutes on a couple of occasions. He was substituted against both Aston Villa and Spurs having barely completed a half of the matches. The reoccurrence of a muscle injury has kept him out until this point but he now has returned to training and is looking to come back into the fold very soon.

Well, we’ve got an extra two training sessions. We will assess after that whether he’s completely fully ready to start or participate against Newcastle or if we’re gonna leave it another few days for the Palace game. But he’s been training really good. He’s comfortable, said Arteta.

He’s not aware of the injury right now. He’s done more than what he did after the injury when he played against Spurs. So he’s in a good space, a good mood and you can see the player he is when he’s training.

In his absence a combination of Granit Xhaka, Danny Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny have been used and provided mixed results. Partey’s return significantly upgrades the central part of the midfield.

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