Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, appears to have experienced the greatest nightmare of every club manager: losing your top players to injury while they are away on international duty.

While their players were abroad on international duty with their different national teams a week before the derby, the Gunners experienced more fitness issues.

To make matters worse, Tottenham Hotspur, a fierce local rival, will be the Gunners’ opponents in the very next game.

For that match, Thomas Partey would have been among the first names on the Arsenal roster, but his participation is now in doubt.

This is due to the fact that the midfielder pulled out of Ghana’s starting lineup for their friendly match against Brazil on Friday night only minutes before kickoff after experiencing some discomfort during the warm-up.

Partey has demonstrated how crucial to Arsenal’s style of play he is, and Arteta’s team appears much more dangerous when he is playing.

What kind of injury Partey might have sustained is yet unknown, but it would continue a disturbing trend the former Atletico Madrid player has had since joining Arsenal.

Partey has experienced a string of ailments during his tenure at the Emirates; only this season, the 29-year-old has been forced to miss three of the Gunners’ matches due to a knee issue.

In the recent 3-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford, his absence was keenly noticed.

Partey has missed 19 Premier League games for Arsenal due to fitness difficulties between the time of his arrival in late 2020 and the final day of the previous season.

If the Belgian is required to fill in for him against Spurs on October 1, this most recent one could put his assistant, Albert Sambi Lokonga, in the spotlight.

Partey’s last-minute withdrawal was reportedly due to safety concerns.

The midfielder informed Ghana’s medical team of his pain, and they suggested that he withdraw in anticipation of Tuesday’s match against Nicaragua.

If Partey does play in Ghana’s upcoming match, Arteta will be watching closely to make sure he survives the match unharmed.

Not only Partey, but right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu has been pulled from the Japan team and is expected to return to Arsenal’s London Colney training facility.

There is no mention of any injuries in the statement confirming his surprise departure from the Japan FA.

The only explanation given is that Tomiyasu’s departure was due to “club circumstances.”

This may imply that Tomiyasu has been called up by the Gunners, possibly with the intention of starting him against the Spurs.

Despite this, the 23-year-old has yet to make a single game-start this season due to his own ongoing injury issues that prevented him from fully participating in the preseason.

If the Gunners were to defeat Antonio Conte’s team at the Emirates, they would be able to distance themselves from the Spurs.

In the league right now, Arsenal is first by one point, while its North London neighbors, just one point back, are third.