Arsenal have been gifted a huge injury boost ahead of their crucial Premier League encounter with Liverpool this evening…
The Gunners, who remain unbeaten in ten matches across all competitions, return to action following the international break with a tricky trip to Anfield to face the fourth-placed Reds.
A win would see the north Londoners leapfrog them in the table, so a lot is on the line, and Mikel Arteta will be delighted with the news that Thomas Partey is available for selection, in what has been described as a “big boost” by The Athletic’s James McNicholas.
The 28-year-old missed their 1-0 win over Watford before the break and subsequently could not link up with the Ghana squad for their fixtures over the past two weeks.
This latest update represents is a significant source of encouragement heading into arguably one of Arsenal’s biggest games of the season. The test of Jurgen Klopp’s side really will be the barometer of how far they have come under Arteta this season.
With Granit Xhaka absent with a long-term knee injury, Partey’s influence in the starting XI has increased tenfold, and whilst Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles deputised efficiently against the Hornets, the 28-year-old is still Arteta’s most senior and available midfielder.
His vast experience, both here and at Atletico Madrid, and his undoubted quality will bring a steely edge to the Gunners’ squad for today’s daunting clash. His presence will almost certainly be required.
Back in March, ex-Arsenal powerhouse Gilberto Silva highlighted Parety’s importance to Arteta and the tea,, claiming that he’s their best defensive-minded midfielder since himself.
“I think the way he manages games, the way he positions himself, is very important for Arsenal,” the Brazilian claimed. “He is the kind of player Arsenal have needed for quite a long time in my opinion.”
Similarly, the Gunners boss suggested that Partey made everyone else look better.
“He’s the anchor. He’s the one who reads what is happening and makes the rest better. How he manages the transition, his pressing, he has a charisma,” Arteta said of the Ghanaian (via football.london).
On the above evidence, it’s clear to see that his involvement this weekend will be key to whether or not Arsenal return to north London with a result. Arteta and everyone around the club will be buzzing to see Partey fit.