Mikel Arteta has voiced his fears over Thomas Partey’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Manchester United after the Ghanaian came off during the win over Southampton with an injury.
In the 78th minute of the 3-1 win over the Saints, the midfielder was taken off for Mohamed Elneny as he struggled with issues.
Speaking after the game, the Spaniard claimed he was unsure what was wrong with the former Atletico Madrid man, just that he was feeling ‘discomfort’.
Arteta said: “We don’t know, we don’t know. He was feeling some discomfort and hopefully it’s nothing, but he was struggling.” (via Arsenal)
Is Thomas Partey Arsenal's most important player?
Having just returned from a long-term lay-off, the last thing you want to hear if you’re associated with Arsenal is that Partey could be injured again.
The Ghana international was striking up a brilliant partnership alongside Granit Xhaka with the African’s steely nature in in defence providing the perfect backdrop for the Swiss midfielder’s passing.
However, another injury would mean Arteta would have to revert to using one of Dani Ceballos or Mohamed Elneny, both of whom have been hit or miss this season. The inconsistency of the duo was part of the reason why Arsenal had no consistency in the middle of the park in the first half of the campaign as the Gunners struggled massively.
Whenever the 27-year-old played, you felt comfortable watching the side because he added strength both on the ball and in front of the Gunners defence. But, if he was to miss the clash with Manchester United this weekend, that ability on the ball would be sorely missed especially after it proved so impactful in the away win at Old Trafford.
The defensive midfielder proves an important cog in the well-oiled machine that is Arsenal. His absence, even for a little while, would prove disastrous as the north London giants look to recover in the pursuit of Champions League football.