Mikel Arteta has remained coy over the fitness of Thomas Partey ahead of this weekend’s north London derby.
Just after last weeks defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Spaniard seemed confident the Ghanaian would miss the ‘next few games’ following his injury during the Aston Villa clash.
However, he now seems uncertain whether the defensive midfielder will be fit for the huge clash with the club’s most fierce rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
Arteta said: “He’s been training separately in the last week or so and we have to scan him again to see how he’s feeling. He’s a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day and he wants to do it.”
“We don’t know [if he’s available]. He is really pushing every day and he’s trying to get around the doctor and the physios but he hasn’t trained with the team yet so let’s see this week if he can get a session or two and then assess him.” (via Arsenal)
What will be the result of Sunday's north London derby?
Prior to Arteta’s comments on the possible return of the defensive midfielder, I was certain that the club would get their sorry rear-ends handed to them by a Spurs side in stunning form. The Lilywhites have been performing unbelievably well under Jose Mourinho this season and sit top of the Premier League table after 10 games.
There’s even been talk from some parts of English football of the arch-rivals being able to win the league title, a feat that would unfathomable for the Gunners. Reds legend Paul Merson claimed that, alongside Chelsea, Mourinho’s men could lead a charge for the trophy.
However, form goes out the window when it comes to a derby game and in Partey, Arsenal hold a trump card. The powerful midfielder possesses a big threat to the Spurs midfield with his ability to carry the ball forward and find a diagonal pass. As well as averaging the most dribbles, the 6’1 ace also averages the second-highest pass accuracy and the fourth-highest long ball accuracy.
The 27-year-old’s mixture of technique and power means if he was to play, the north London outfit would have a big chance at pulling off a shock. Not many people believe Arteta’s men can pull of the shock, however, if Partey was to feature dreams may well turn to reality.