arsenal-defender-left-out-of-world-cup-squad,-it’s-a-big-blow

Arsenal have a number of players set to represent their nations at the World Cup in Qatar – but young centre-back Omar Rekik won’t be among them.

Rekik, the younger brother of Sevilla – and former Man City – defender Karim, joined Arsenal from Hertha Berlin in the summer of 2021.

He featured for the Gunners’ U23 side last season in Premier League 2, but did not make a senior appearance for the club.

This campaign, he has been out on loan at Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam. However, he has been limited to just four league appearances, totalling only 19 minutes of action.

He also missed four games through injury, although was restored to the bench for Friday’s 1-1 draw against FC Twente.

But whilst he hasn’t had too much gametime at senior level, Rekik has been involved with the Tunisia national team.

He made two appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, having already received his first cap by appearing in a friendly match in 2021.

However, he will not be going to Qatar.

Rekik not going to the World Cup

The 20-year-old has not been named in Tunisia’s final 26-man squad for the World Cup, with his lack of gametime potentially counting against him.

He was named in Tunisia’s most recent international squad back in September, but has made way for other players this time around.

The nation’s World Cup squad does, however, feature Man United starlet Hannibal Mejbri, who is currently on loan at Birmingham City.

And there is ex-Premier League representation in the form of one-time Sunderland forward Wahbi Khazri, who now plays for Ligue 1 side Montpellier.

Wahbi Khazri in action for Sunderland (Credit: Alamy)Goalkeeper Mouez Hassan – one of four shot-stoppers in the squad – had a five-month loan spell at Southampton in 2017, but never played a senior game for the club.

Tunisia face a challenging World Cup group, having been drawn alongside France, Denmark and Australia. They kick off their campaign next Tuesday, November 22, when they take on Denmark.