Arsenal have received a massive boost ahead of their Carabao Cup clash with AFC Wimbledon this evening…
According to The Sun, Gunners midfielder Thomas Partey made his return to first-team training at London Colney on Tuesday following a fresh injury scare.
The 28-year-old, who cost £45m a year ago, limped off during their 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
Partey has already missed plenty of game time this campaign due to ankle and knee problems, so there were concerns after he was withdrawn 15 minutes from time, in what was his first league start of the season.
Whilst it remains to be seen whether the 28-cap Ghana international will feature against the League One outfit, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted that it would be a pretty strong line-up.
“I hope that I can put out the strongest team I can,” he revealed ahead of kick-off. “That means that the players have performed really well and then give a really strong performance and this is what we want to do. Let’s see who’s available, how they recover and what is the best way to approach the game.”
The Gunners alleviated their early-season woes by recording back-to-back 1-0 victories in the Premier League, defeating Norwich City and then Burnley, and Partey featured in some form across both matches.
Much of his time at the Emirates Stadium has been blighted by injuries but he still played an integral role last season as he led the squad for tackles (1.8) per game, whilst he wasn’t far behind for dribbles (1.2) and passing accuracy (87.2%) either, via WhoScored.
When fit, Partey has the potential to be a massive influence under Arteta, especially on the above evidence, which suggests he’s a sort of ball-winning midfielder that can drive the play forward into the final third, to some success, too.
Despite picking up two straight wins, the pressure will still be on the young Spanish head coach to deliver and he could well target success in a competition like this, so Wimbledon must not be taken lightly.
Having the £36m-rated star available will certainly help ease the prospect of a potential upset. This will come as a huge boost to Arteta, he’s surely relieved.