Which shirt numbers will Arsenal’s World Cup internationals wear?

LONDON, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of England replaces Phil Foden of England during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The World Cup squad deadline was on Monday, meaning all of Arsenal’s internationals now know whether or not they’ll be involved in the tournament.

For the 10 players called up, we’ve also now learned their shirt numbers, which will perhaps give us a hint about what to expect at the tournament.

For example, Matt Turner has been handed the number one shirt with the USA, so we can probably expect him to start matches. But Aaron Ramsdale has received the number 23 with England, suggesting he’s further down the pecking order.

Arsenal’s other two England internationals have fairly high numbers as well, with Bukayo Saka receiving 17 and Ben White receiving 21.

Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka has received the number 10 shirt, whilst Ghana captain Thomas Partey has the number five.

For Arsenal’s two Brazilians, Gabriel Jesus has been handed the number 18 shirt, whilst Gabriel Martinelli has the number 26.

But a high number doesn’t necessarily mean a spot on the bench. Takehiro Tomiyasu is almost certain to start every game for Japan – when fit – but he’s received the number 16.

The same may well be true for William Saliba, who is tipped to start for France but has the number 17.

Ultimately, the number is just a number, and all of Arsenal’s internationals will have the chance to prove they deserve a starting spot in the coming days of pre-tournament training.

PARIS, FRANCE: William Saliba of France runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Austria on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE: William Saliba of France runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Austria on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Arsenal World Cup internationals’ shirt numbers

  • Gabriel Jesus – 18 (Brazil)
  • Gabriel Martinelli – 26 (Brazil)
  • Thomas Partey – 5 (Ghana)
  • Aaron Ramsdale – 23 (England)
  • Bukayo Saka – 17 (England)
  • William Saliba – 17 (France)
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu – 16 (Japan)
  • Matt Turner – 1 (USA)
  • Ben White – 21 (England)
  • Granit Xhaka – 10 (Switzerland)

As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to Amnesty International.

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