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Photo: Mikel Arteta Catalin Cirjan to Arsenal first-team training

Shamanth Jayaram

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta called up young Catalin Cirjan to first-team training yesterday amid concerns over Thomas Partey’s fitness ahead of the game on Saturday.

The Gunners take on Leeds United tomorrow as the business end of the season begins. The North Londoners are currently eight points clear of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and they just can’t afford to lose momentum by dropping points.

Arteta has a lot to decide for the game tomorrow with injuries hitting his Arsenal side hard. Like William Saliba, Partey is also a big doubt following his injury while away on international duty.

Catalin Cirjan Arsenal
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta calls up Catalin Cirjan to Arsenal first-team training

Catalin Cirjan has been one of Arsenal’s brightest young talents for a few years now.

The 20-year-old Romanian joined the Gunners’ youth setup from Viitorul Domnesti back in 2019. He quickly impressed everyone at Hale End and was viewed by many as the next big thing.

However, Cirjan suffered a terrible knee injury in April 2021. That kept him out for 449 days and clearly had a negative impact on his progression to the top.

Thankfully, Cirjan has been fit for a while now, and the ‘skilful’ midfielder was called up to senior training under Arteta yesterday ahead of Arsenal’s game against Leeds United.

The youngster posted a picture of himself alongside Martin Odegaard on Instagram.

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Arsenal have a few injuries to deal with at the moment.

Takehiro Tomiyasu suffered a serious injury before the international break, and his season is over. William Saliba also hurt himself in the same game, and he’s a big doubt for the game tomorrow as well.

To make things worse, Partey also picked up a knock while he was away with Ghana, and the 29-year-old is being assessed by Arsenal’s medical staff ahead of the Leeds clash.

It is extremely unlikely, but Partey’s injury could open the door for Cirjan to get himself a spot on the bench. That would be a great experience for the young man.

Catalin Cirjan Arsenal
Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

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