January exits incoming? Arsenal pair omitted from squad to face Newcastle/Partey latest

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A pair of out-of-favour members of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad appear to have inched closer to the exit door on Saturday, after being omitted from the club’s matchday squad to take on Newcastle United.

January exits incoming? Arsenal pair omitted from squad to face Newcastle/Partey latest

Arsenal back in action

The Gunners are set to get the defence of their FA Cup title underway later this evening.

Arteta’s men will welcome Newcastle to the Emirates, for a 3rd-round tie.

The hosts head into Saturday’s action as clear favourites to advance, amid a long overdue upturn in form of late.

On the back of 7-straight outings without a Premier League win, Arsenal have since rattled off a trio of consecutive victories over the last couple of weeks, the latest of which saw them make short work of West Brom last weekend.

January exits incoming? Arsenal pair omitted from squad to face Newcastle/Partey latest

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Rob Holding, Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari after scoring their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on January 02, 2021 in West Bromwich, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Rui Vieira – Pool/Getty Images)

Newcastle, on the other hand, are now winless in six, a stretch which includes four defeats, and an exit from the League Cup at the hands of Brentford.

Balogun on the way out?

Ahead of the fast approaching kick-off in north London, meanwhile, as is customary, the starting line-ups of both sides were announced a short time ago.

Mikel Arteta has made clear that he is not taking the defence of his side’s FA Cup crown lightly, opting for a strong XI, featuring the likes of Bernd Leno, Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang:

As outlined above, however, it is not those to have been included in the Gunners’ matchday squad to face Newcastle who have since taken the headlines.

Instead, it is those who have been left out.

The hosts’ bench this evening does not feature any of Shkodran Mustafi, Folarin Balogun or Thomas Partey.

The latter’s absence comes with the summer addition to Arteta’s ranks still recovering from a spell on the sidelines, with Partey expected to be available next time out, when Arsenal face Crystal Palace:

When it comes to Mustafi and Balogun, however, the situation is altogether different.

Both have been tipped for Emirates departures this month, with the former rumoured to be of interest to Serie A outfit Genoa.

Mounting reports over the last couple of days, meanwhile, have pointed towards an imminent free agent exit for highly regarded young attacker Balogun, who is said to be closing to putting pen to paper on a pre-contract with an unnamed foreign club:

As such, their respective omissions this evening are only likely to push the pair closer to the exit door in north London, with further updates on the futures of both Mustafi and Balogun no doubt set to be forthcoming over the weeks ahead.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
2 Manchester United FC 16 9 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
5 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
6 Southampton FC 17 7 29
7 Everton FC 16 6 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17 -6 22
14 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 16 -8 19
16 Burnley FC 15 -11 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 17 -21 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

Source: 101greatgoals.com