Arsenal fans were quick to notice the absence of new signing Ben White from Gunners training ahead of the London derby with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium.
The 23-year-old England international was expected to start at the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence when the Gunners host Chelsea this afternoon, but his apparent absence from training has raised questions among supporters over his availability for the match.
Gunners fans were quick to point out that White was not included in any of the training pictures released by the club ahead of the derby.
While there has been no confirmation that White is unavailable for the key clash the lack of pictures of the defender in preparation for the match puts doubt over whether he will be included in Arteta’s squad.
With Gabriel Magalhaes back in training the Brazilian defender could be in contention to replace White should he not be involved on Sunday afternoon. However, the clash with Chelsea could come too soon following the knee injury he picked up while on international duty with Brazil at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
As a result, Rob Holding, who was a regular for Arteta last season, could step into the side should White not feature.
The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.
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White’s potential absence is another blow to the already under pressure Arteta following last week’s loss to Brentford, a match the Gunners played without attacking duo Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang and Alexandre Lacazette due to testing positive for coronavirus prior to the season opener.
Lacazette remains unavailable for selection with Aubameyang back in training and in contention for the derby.
Romelu Lukaku is expected to make his Chelsea debut this afternoon and Arteta would want to go into the match with his new defender, but if the Gunners’ training ground pictures are anything to go by the Spaniard may have no choice in the matter.