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‘I don’t know’: 24-year-old Arsenal star is unsure when he’ll join the rest of the squad in Dubai
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‘I don’t know’: 24-year-old Arsenal star is unsure when he’ll join the rest of the squad in Dubai

The World Cup may still be going on, but Arsenal’s first team have already returned to action.

The Premier League is less than three weeks away, and Mikel Arteta has taken the squad to Dubai to get ready.

With some of Arsenal’s stars still in Qatar, Arteta has called up a number of young players to the squad.

Teenage defender Lino Sousa is with the group, as is Premier League record breaker Ethan Nwaneri.

The Gunners have three friendlies lined up as they look to regain some match sharpness.

Arteta will be especially keen to see how Eddie Nketiah gets on, after the news that Gabriel Jesus has picked up an injury.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

There are still half a dozen Arsenal players competing in Qatar who may not be eliminated in time to head to Dubai.

One player who was knocked out yesterday was Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.

However, speaking to The Athletic, Tomiyasu has admitted he’s unsure when he’ll return to the Arsenal squad.

The 24-year-old witnessed his side lose out on penalties to Croatia in a close fought last-16 tie.

Tomiyasu unsure on Arsenal return date

Speaking after the game, Tomiyasu was bitterly disappointed.

He described his own performance as a ‘disaster’, and struggled to see the positives from Japan’s campaign.

When asked when he would return to join the rest of the squad, Tomiyasu said: “I don’t know.

“Hopefully, I can get a bit of rest. I need time to forget about football. I need a bit of time.”

The World Cup taking place halfway through the season is going to have a massive knock-on effect on the Premier League.

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Many players will be come back refreshed having had a long break to recover.

Others would have lost match sharpness and won’t be in the same form they were last month.

Those that have been at the World Cup may suffer the psychological effects of defeat for a long time.

It’s hard to imagine any player who loses in the final being ready to play in the Premier League a week later.

Arsenal will have set out Tomiyasu’s return date, even if he’s currently unsure, to allow him some time to rest.

He’ll want to be back out on the pitch fighting for a place in a title-chasing side soon enough.

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