Arsenal are set to miss Thomas Partey, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe for the games in January 2022 next season after their respective countries qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
Nicolas Pepe’s Ivory Coast recently qualified with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Niger, placing them on the top of their Group K table. Meanwhile, Aubameyang helped his Gabon side to a 3-0 victory over D.R. Congo, with a goal and an assist to his name, while Egypt and Ghana qualified with 1-1 draws to Kenya and South Africa respectively.
This is the 33rd edition of AFCON and it was originally scheduled to be held between June and July 2021. However, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) shifted the date forward to January 2021 due to unfavorable climatic conditions, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, then delayed the start date of the tournament till January 2022.
Partey, Aubameyang, Elneny and Pepe all get called up every international break without fail and this would particularly leave Arsenal’s midfield bare in the summer, if Dani Ceballos doesn’t sign permanently with the club at the end of this season and the loanees Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira decide to move on.
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