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Arsenal hint at double departure as linked duo absent from matchday squad

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Arsenal hint at double departure as linked duo absent from matchday squad

Arsenal and Tottenham face off

Arsenal head across north London to play Tottenham Hotspur in the final game of their pre-season Mind series, a mini-tournament played between the pair and Chelsea in order to raise money for mental health awareness.

For both sides, it is the final game of pre-season, with the Gunners kicking off their season away to Brentford on Friday night, while Tottenham host Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that both clubs named strong sides, despite the friendly nature of the game.

The hosts were unable to name any of their new signings in the starting eleven, with Bryan Gil still returning from Tokyo and Cristian Romero not deemed ready, but named a side including Dele, Lucas, Heung-min Son and captain Hugo Lloris nonetheless.

Harry Kane, amidst uncertainty over his future, was absent, as was Tanguy Ndombele, who has failed to feature in pre-season despite having no summer footballing commitments.

Arsenal, meanwhile, were able to welcome Bukayo Saka back to the substitutes bench, while handing Ben White his first start in red and white.

Duo absent sparks transfer speculation

For Arsenal too, a pair of players were conspicuous by their absence. However, for the Gunners it came in the form of Joe Willock and Willian, both of whom have been linked with moves away from this club this summer.

Willock was pictured in training with the squad ahead of the game, but has been omitted for unknown reasons, amid persistent rumours that a return to Newcastle beckons. The youngster thrived on Tyneside in the latter part of last season, and it is no secret that the club pine for his return.

Willian, meanwhile, has been reportedly keen to depart the club this summmer, after a disappointing first season in north London after a move from Chelsea.

A glance to the bench and the plot thickens, with two goalkeepers and five (FIVE!) full-backs named amongst the substitutes. Could both be progressing in moves away from the Emirates, or are there innocent reasons for their absences?

All will be revealed at full-time, when Arteta will answer questions on the pair.

Read more:

Chelsea demonstrate transfer problem affecting all Premier League clubs in draw with Spurs

How Arsenal can win the Mind series mini-tournament revealed

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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