A stunning 3-2 comeback victory over Crystal Palace staves off relegation and will give Frank Lampard the opportunity to build his own squad in the summer transfer window.
The Toffees could end their dismal league campaign with a win against Arsenal in Sunday’s concluding match of the campaign, and Lampard has been given a big boost ahead of the clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Gunners midfielder Thomas Partey has been ruled out of the game, with Mikel Arteta and his medical staff not willing to risk any further complications by including him for the final match of the season.
The Ghanaian has been sidelined for Arsenal since sustaining a thigh injury in the 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in early April.
With an average rating of 6.96 on WhoScored, Partey ranks second among the Arsenal squad, despite him featuring in only 24 league matches for Arteta’s side.
Compared to his positional peers in the top five European leagues, the Ghana midfielder ranks in the 96th percentile for total shots (2.04 per 90) and the 88th percentile for dribbles completed (1.88). These statistics would suggest that Everton will be quite glad that they aren’t facing the 28-year-old this weekend.
It’s no coincidence that Arsenal have only won four matches out of the eight for which Partey has now been missing, losing the other four, and they are at severe risk of missing out on Champions League qualification yet again.
Lampard will be relaxed knowing that top-flight safety has been achieved, but a win against the north London side will end the season on a positive. It might seem that bit more attainable with their opponents deprived of one of their top performers from the 2021/22 campaign.