Thomas Partey has returned to the Arsenal squad for the Gunners' pre-season tour of the US. While it was initially claimed by The Times that the Ghanaian - along with Bernd Leno and Folarin Balogun - will be omitted from the squad, the trio have officially been included as Mikel Arteta looks to get his players ready for the new season.
Partey is seeking to regain match fitness after missing the final part of the most recent campaign due to a thigh injury. The Ghanian international was a huge loss for the Gunners in the middle of the park as his side fell agonizingly short in the race for a top-four spot.
Partey also didn't travel to Germany last week for Arsenal's 5-3 victory over Nurnberg, but did play 45 minutes in his team's 5-1 triumph over Ipswich Town in a friendly.
The Times report also claims that following the arrival of American goalkeeper Matt Turner, Leno is close to completing a £10 million move to Premier League newcomers Fulham, as the 30-year-old seeks first-team football.
Mikel Arteta's men will begin their US tour with a clash against Everton on Sunday in Baltimore, before competing in friendlies against Orlando City and Chelsea in Florida.
The Gunners will conclude their pre-season schedule with an Emirates Cup encounter against Sevilla on July 30.
Former Arsenal midfielder handed academy coaching role
Jack Wilshere, who is only a year older than Partey, has announced his retirement from playing last week due to relentless injury problems.
However, Wilshere has been offered a new career straight away, as he has been appointed head coach of the Arsenal U18 side. Upon his appointment, Wilshere told Arsenal's official website:
“It's a huge honour to have this role. It’s no secret that I love this club. I love what we stand for and a big part of my life was spent in this academy, some of the best days of my life. This is a big opportunity for me and I'm ready. I'm hungry and can’t wait to help these young players thrive and be the best they can be on and off the pitch.
"It's a special feeling to be part of the Arsenal family. It never left me, and even though I moved on for a few years, my heart was always still at Arsenal. I can’t wait to get started and help these young players thrive with a great team around me."
The Gunners will begin their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace in London on August 6.