Arteta plays down Saliba-Gabriel row

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has played down reports of a rift between team-mates William Saliba and Gabriel.

The Gunners defenders were involved in an argument during the recent win at Leicester City.

But Arteta insisted that there is no problem between the two players when he was asked about the issue at a press conference on the eve of his side’s Premier League match against strugglers Everton.

“They are a happy marriage – they love playing with each other,” Arteta said.

“But they are very demanding with each other – which is good. Everything is fine.”

Arsenal fans have been hoping that Thomas Partey will return from injury in Wednesday’s game, but Arteta indicated that the midfielder is unlikely to feature against Sean Dyche’s side.

Arteta explained: “He hasn’t trained much, he’s only had a session. He will train today. He was out for a few weeks and he needs to get the rhythm.

“The fact we have options right now, that we have players coming back from injury, is going to be crucial because players cannot maintain the same level for 10 months – it is just impossible.

“We need to change and be more unpredictable and we have those options now.”