Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta unsure if Thomas Partey will be fit for north London derby at Tottenham but claims £45m new boy is ‘really pushing’ to recover from thigh injury in time
- Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is currently recovering from a thigh injury
- Partey has missed the Gunners’ last three matches in all competitions
- Mikel Arteta does not know whether Partey will feature at all against Tottenham
- The Gunners head into the north London derby this Sunday in woeful form
Arsenal’s £45million new boy has missed the last three games through injury, and his presence in the middle of the pitch has been sorely missed.
Following Sunday’s defeat by Wolves, Arteta claimed that Partey would miss the ‘next few games’ but he has since admitted the midfielder is trying to do everything he can to play some sort of role in what would be his first ever north London derby.
Midfielder Thomas Partey has missed Arsenal’s last three matches due to a thigh injury
‘He has been training separately in the last week or so,’ Arteta said during the press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna.
‘We have to scan him again to see how he is feeling. He is a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day because he wants to do it.
‘At the same time, we have to protect and make sure that when he gets back in the team he is ready to do that and whatever extent of minutes we can use him.
‘So this week is going to be crucial. The moment he starts to train in parts with the team, [we can] see how he is feeling and how he is evolving day to day.’
Mikel Arteta is not sure whether Partey will be fit in time for Sunday’s North London derby
Then when quizzed specifically on whether Partey would be fit for the fixture against bitter rivals Tottenham, Arteta replied: ‘We don’t know.
‘Again he is really pushing. Every day he is trying to get around the doctor and the physios. He hasn’t trained with the team yet.
‘So this week, let’s see if he can get a session or two. We need to scan him again to see the extent of the injury and how it has healed. I know if it is Thomas, he wants to play tomorrow. Then we have to see medically that he is safe to participate this week at all.’
The return of Partey would come as a huge boost to Arteta and an Arsenal side shot of confidence following a dismal run of form.
Arsenal head into weekend’s eagerly-anticipated derby against Tottenham in dismal form
The Gunners have lost five of their opening 10 Premier League matches – their worst start to a campaign since 1981.
There would be no better way to answer their critics than against rivals Spurs but Arteta’s men – who sit 14th in the table – face a daunting task.
Spurs head into the fixture top of the Premier League, previously beating Manchester City 2-0 at home before holding Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge last time out.