Arteta provides Partey fitness update

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Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey needs to come through a few more training sessions before being considered for selection.

The Ghana international has only played 45 minutes of football in nearly two months due to a persistent calf problem but could, all things going well, make the matchday squad for next weekend’s FA Cup clash with Newcastle United at the Emirates.

Asked about his summer signing after the Gunners’ 4-0 win over West Brom, the boss said:

“He hasn’t trained fully with us, but he has done most parts of training in the last few days. He is feeling good and we will assess him.

“He needs another two or three good sessions to see if he is 100% available to play. If that is the case, great news for us.”

Partey picked up the original injury in the first half of the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on 8 November and spent a month on the sidelines before making an ill-fated comeback at Sp*rs. He’s not had much luck since making his big-money move from Atletico Madrid.

Asked if the midfielder will feel like a new signing, Arteta said: “Absolutely. We are in January and I think he’s played two and a half games. That’s all and he was our main signing.

“So yeah. We’ve been missing him. He brings something different to the team, he’s a player with enormous talent. But as well someone that can transform the team the way we want. It’s great if we can have him, keep him healthy and I think will contribute in a really positive way.”

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bring14back

The fact Partey can be a core addition to the spine of the team makes this news even better. With a real partnership emerging at the back and strong wing play from both sides, adding Partey to the center may just be the last missing piece

Monrealist

Do you think Gabriel regains his place or stick with Holding/Mari at the back? Feels like an age since we had a great centre back pairing – Mertesacker/Kos

allezkev

Good question?
Difficult to justify splitting up a defensive pairing that’s been a major part of our three match winning run, I wouldn’t want to see it if I’m honest but I really rate Gabriel so what a lovely problem to have…

Artetas Assistant

I really rate Gabriel as a worldclass workingman. Has a feel of singer Ciara’s NFL husband, just a huge professional that just gets on with the job. He looked so “out of our league” most of the time I seen him earlier. He brings the elements into his defending, Superclass I really rate Pablo as a stonecold, Xhaka-like, Martinelli-like, Ronaldo-like man. Gets on with the job I really really rate Holding as the quintessential British gent, the kind of guy the king gives a Sir-ship especially if his agents/family are involving him in community or some other good works. I… Read more »

Krumphax

Hard to tell. But I think Mari is a more experienced version of Gabriel at the moment. His positioning and passing is really good. I think both pairings (Holding/Gabriel, Holding/Mari) know how to play with each other at the moment. It is really a toss up. It gives us the option to “not rush back” Gabriel, wich is good. I think Mari looks more calm than Gabriel. I would prefer that at the moment.

Monrealist

Definitely a good problem to have, didn’t seem long ago we seemed to have 10 trash centre backs, now we seem to have some quality and depth there

Martin

I think Mari has surprised us all and is doing a fine job. However Gabriel is a world class centre half and is significantly better than Mari. However it is great to see we have competition for central defenders. Interesting to see Saliba in the near future

The Arsenal

I think if players are playing well they shouldn’t be replaced just because a starter is fit. If Martinelli wasn’t coming back off a long injury we would be saying he should be ahead of Auba right now regardless.
Gabriel and Partey fully integrated, some deadwood leave and a few astute signings and we could be anywhere at the end of this season. 10 points off the top and we have been dire.

SarcasmB0t

Correction: If players are playing BETTER than the starter, they shouldn’t be replaced just because the starter is fit.

Martinelli has been playing better than Aubameyang.
Marí has been playing okay.
Gabriel has been a standout.

If Gabriel can play, he should. If he can’t, Marí is an excellent backup option.

Not everything needs to be a problem.

Matthinc

Yes well said, I think he’s looked brilliant since coming in. But credit to Mari, it’s his place to lose at the moment.

Merlin’s Panini

Given how highly Arteta spoke of Mari and clearly trusting him having coached him before at City I’m not really surprised he’s been doing well. He was just injured for ages and weirdly for many absence made the heart less fond in his case. Glad to see him performing well and starting to look like a bit of a bargain.

Andre Davis

Pablo Mari has been so good in these games, not only can he play but its his awareness of where to be, Rob Holding is doing well and can learn a from Pablo. The next headache for the boss is who is the first choice CB pairing?

Timorous Me

Yes, very good to have that option. And I thought the struggles were finally starting to get to Gabriel before the Covid hit him–just looking a bit more stressed and jaded out there. So it’ll be nice to be able to ease some of the pressure and workload from him. It’s easy to forget, very similar to Tierney, just how young he is, no matter how strong and self-assured he’s mostly looked.

A Different George

I agree–I thought Gabriel’s play seemed less assured, more subject to overdoing things, in his last few matches. He has never played this number of fixtures, with this pressure, before.

Daveo

I agree with this. He was basically playing every minute and the mental stress of that was wearing on him. He still looks world class and was one of our best up to December. His break might be a blessing. He should play in the cup then its over to Arteta to decide after that. Tough call. Mari has looked quality. Crazy that he ja played only about a dozen games and he’s been here a year now.

Bort

Agree with almost everything, but I do think Gabriel is a bit better at long passes than Mari. Either way it’s a massive improvement choosing one of those two intstead of Mustafi/Luiz/Papa (even tho I’ve always liked Papa, with his limitations and everything)

Artetas Assistant

Gabriel is never not calm, he’s almost tongue in cheek but too disciplined to be tongue in cheek.

Mari is actually the opposite monster

bring14back

Good question. Gabriel’s been quality, can see him coming back in straight away with Holding. But now he’ll have some real competitive pressure knowing what Holding/Mari can do

Atid

I think we are just a few admissions and a couple of pride swallows by arteta from having a great balanced squad. Torreira and Guendozi should come back in as replacements for xhaka and elneny. Saliba should be given a chance to form a partnership with Gabriel, giving us two good pairings at the back. Give AMN a chance alongside Partey. Say goodbye to luiz, mustafi, sokratis, kolasinac, mavropanos, Cedric, xhaka, elneny, ceballos, Willian, ozil and Macey. Send nketiah on loan so to give balogun his chance and hopefully convince him to sign a new contract

Frederick

It would be ludicrous if he didn’t, Mari hasn’t been too bad but he did give away a very stupid and needless penalty which could have put the first of these three crucial wins in jeopardy. That’s only one mistake, and he’s looked decent the rest of the time. He seems to be a generally competent defender who’ll make for a decent backup LCB. But he’s done nothing to suggest he should be displacing Gabriel, who has been Arsenal’s best CB by far this season despite being a new signing at probably the hardest position at which to acclimatise to… Read more »

.!.ziRascal

How about Gabriel/Mari? Not straight away obviously but do people think that might be a decent long-term option?

Jin

Both of them are left-footed players. So it would be very easy to stop our flow of progression from the back to the front.

Rohith

I have long wondered that too cuz there are lots of right footed centre half pairings and Mari might be an upgrade on holding

NaiGooner

How come two right footed players can play together but left footed players can’t?

SarcasmB0t

Because they have too left feet.

It isn’t right.

OBUH CHUKWUKA

They are both left footed bro.

Artetas Assistant

You’re listening to something correct because Naturally that’s the right mix, they’re two different players both top class in their own way (The Messi (Gabriel) and the Ronaldo(Mari) sides of the coin)

Qwaliteee

You’d leave Rob Holding out…?!!

🤣

Martin

When Gabriel is fit I am certain he will return but let’s give credit to both the underrated Holding and Mari who was written off before he started. They are doing a great job.

Qwaliteee

You play your best players, simple as that. Gabriel has been consistently good, especially for a debut season.

It’s a no brainer.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Gabriel is the best defender in the squad, and at 22 years old needs to be playing regularly to get to the next level. For me he starts whenever fit.

ASH

Forget Gabriel, we must thank Willian for the 3 match winning run. If he had not gotten ill, we might be still in relegation places.

But now he is back, and went straight on as substitute, dark days might be back. Praying that he is not restored back to starting 11 in EPL

Bwalimitch@gmail.com

100% truth

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Partey added to this new look Arsenal excites me.

SB Still

Arteta has navigated the on-field issues and brought an end to the bad run we were on.

Hope he can do similar with the off-field items that need to be addressed as well, ofcourse with Edu playing his part. Balogun and Saliba’s future with us to be secured. As well as, probably the more difficult part – moving on the likes of Sokratis, Mustafi, to be addressed as well.

Will be psychologically massive to have him for that Man Utd game at the end of the month.

PeteyB

Absolutely. Coming in off a strong run will also be massive. Looking at the fixtures coming the next 2 EPL games against Newcastle and Palace will take us to 19 played. Both are feeling much more winnable than a few weeks ago. 6 points from those two and well be looking much more healthy at the midway point of the season. With Partey in (and maybe a January recruit) I’ll be feeling some hopeful optimism that we can have a strong 2nd half of the season, starting with wins over Southampton and Utd. .. I am of course acutely aware… Read more »

Nikhil Agarwal

Nice disclaimer at the end. I just want us to win the next game 🙂

Krumphax

I think there will be games, where our midfield and defence will be found out this season. Mari and Holding are looking good at the moment, but there will be blibs. But Partey is gonna be so massively important, I don’t want to think about it. Gabriel and Thomas are going to stabilize it going forward. The right sided CB will be up for grabs till next year. I hope Saliba is gonna step up there. And still we won’t be a 100% stable. But it will be much better going forward, than looking what was behind us. And I… Read more »

RJ

Blibs?

Sulla

I think he meant blob.

Santori

Reasonably good news. BUT we will have to rely on what we have on hand and Partey even when he comes back in will take time to get back up to speed. Not that he was bossing it in the first place when he was fit. So the correct thing to do is concentrate on the assets on hand NOW. Despite the Red, Granit has turned things around first with a very fine goal against Chelsea but now with some combative displays. he needs to be encouraged to be more positive and forward thinking. Played quicker balls forward today and… Read more »

Daveo

Leno (Hein IMO) bellerin (Cedric) Holding (Chambers, saliba) Gaby (mari) tierney (AMN) Partey (xhaka) El neny (ceballos) ESR (willock) Saka (pepe) Laca (balogun) Martinelli (Auba) With partey, martinelli, mari and gaby back that’s actually a pretty good squad. The weak point still seems a midfield partner with partey. I’d go for Mo because he looks great foil for partey, but I’m not sure if that is the long term answer. AM/CM type should be our priority. Buendia is still my guy there, especially with his creativity and work rate. He could slot in along side partey (there is a lot… Read more »

Billy bob

You could have AMN alongside Partey, also don’t forget Nelson and Nketiah

mjc1892

Would like to see us sell Nketiah if an offer were to come in. I like him, and of course always want to see our youngsters succeed, but I’ve really seen nothing from him to suggest he’s at the level we’re aspiring to. From the little I’ve seen of Balogun he looks the real deal, though.
Would hate to lose a talent like him because we’ve given Nketiah so many chances.

Daveo

Yes I think balogun should be the backup striker over Eddie. He looks to have much more upside. Another loan would benefit Eddie to see if there is a player there for us. I almost think he is close to his ceiling despite his age. Chicharito type. Balogun has proper rounded forward potential.

COYG

AMN can partner Partey. We might need a creative midfielder (grealish) to mentor ESR/willock and a backup LB with Kolasinac leaving. Maybe another LW (zaha?) to cover for Auba/Martinelli. Agree that Balogun should be groomed by laca/auba as our next central striker, with Nketiah as backup.

Just shrug

What about the mighty will_i_aint

Daveo

I_aint_willing

Cultured Determination

Whoever asked the question if partey felt like a new signing, we all know what you did there. LANS.

Dubai Ham

Just like a new signing 😂
I miss the days when Wenger would announce the return of long term crippled players like Rosicky or Diaby and would disguise them as new signings. Poor guy had to compete with oil money with cripples and a poor squad and had to manage the fans expectations with classic qoutes such as ‘just like a new signing’.

Qwaliteee

We need him back in front of the defence ASAP.

Xhaka blows hot and cold and Ceballos flatters to deceive.

Merlin’s Panini

Sounds like he’s being cautious with him this time. Now we’re winning games it looks more like he can afford to be. Arteta is learning and that’s good to see. Hopefully we keep up this form a while longer.

Goodly morning

LANS… There, I said it!

OMARR

I believe in our team if they continue to play well

Biggles

And if they don’t continue to play well then you won’t believe in them? A description of a “Fair weather fan” possibly?

Dave Roberts

If we brought Gabriel back into the starting lineup, kept Holding and Mari, and made it a three man defense, we’d never allow a goal for the rest of the year.