Arsenal have been handed a major injury boost ahead of this weekend’s bottom-of-the-table clash with Norwich City…
According to The Sun, Gunners midfielder Thomas Partey has been pictured in training this week, having failed to feature so far this season after he picked up a serious ankle injury during their pre-season encounter with Chelsea.
He told his YouTube channel:
“People I have spoken to who are close to Thomas Partey, they still think he has got a chance of playing or being involved against Norwich, whether that be on the bench, I probably think it would be.”
The Ghanian international has been sidelined for around five weeks and has been a big miss in Mikel Arteta’s engine room, so to have him available this weekend should come as a major boost and relief for the 39-year-old head coach.
His options would’ve been very, very limited heading into what is an absolute must-win fixture.
Granit Xhaka, who tested positive for Covid-19 on international duty, is suspended for three matches after he was sent off against Manchester City, whilst Mo Elneny has been out with a muscular problem.
It means Arteta is currently left with summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga and the wantaway Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the deeper role, whilst Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe should be available further up the pitch.
Rock-bottom Arsenal are yet to win in the Premier League this season and will be desperate to pick up a result against the side that sits just one place above them in the table on goal difference.
Depending on results, the north London giants could rise as high as 12th with a convincing victory.
Partey led the squad for tackles per game (1.8) last season and also averaged one interception, 1.1 shots and 1.2 dribbles per game, via WhoScored, which suggests he can contribute in the attack, too.
So to have him available on Saturday afternoon will come as huge encouragement.
AND in other news, No Xhaka, Tomiyasu starts: Predicting Arteta’s best Arsenal XI…