Thomas Partey returns to full training

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Thomas Partey has returned to full training and should be in contention to feature in Arsenal’s home game with Norwich on Saturday.

The Ghanaian has been sidelined for five weeks with an ankle injury after Ruben Loftus-Cheek scythed him down from behind in our pre-season friendly defeat to Chelsea.

His return is timely given Covid-stricken Granit Xhaka is banned for three games and Mo Elneny is understood to have picked up a muscular problem. The extent of the Egyptian’s problem isn’t yet known but he wasn’t fit enough to travel with his country for this week’s World Cup qualifier with Gabon.

Having missed one, two and three games respectively Nicolas Pepe (ill), Ben White (Covid-19) and Eddie Nketiah (ankle) are all back in training. Gabriel, is also available.

At this point, the other major doubt is Sead Kolasinac. The left-back was the victim of a terrible tackle by France’s Jules Koundé last week and is nursing his left ankle.

With another round of Interlull fixtures to take place, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Bukayo Saka, Sambi Lokonga, Martin Odegaard, Bernd Leno, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu can stay out of harm’s way.

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C.B.

Great news, we’ve missed him a lot.

Hope the Norwich match starts to get us on the up at last.

TommyGun

A shot on target would get us on the up. We are starting from a low base but the only way is up from here! COYG!

Bobby

Looking forward to my first loKONGA PARTEY this weekend.

Bishop

The thought of those two beast marauding all through the middle is orgasmic.

On a serious note, I will prefer we ease Partey back; last season should serve as a lesson.

PeteyB

I’d prefer that also. But with Xhaka and Elneny gone there is little option. AMN maybe

ChickPEA

I’m very torn on this, considering the importance of managing his fitness, but also how small the window to convince the staff that Sambi-Partey should be our midfield pairing – before the inevitable return of Xhaka and his reintegration in the team, regardless of how incredibly daft he has once more been in, and after, the last game.

Bishop

It will be a mammoth call to keep Partey on the bench against Norwich because any faux-pas and we will be in full blown crisis mode but, on the other hand, rushing Partey back and getting him injured will torpedo our whole season if not the project.
I am happy I am not the one making the final decision

Giuseppe Hovno

Yeah same v tough decision. Maybe Partey to come off at half time when we are ten nil up?

Tankard Gooner

I think most sensible thing is to give him some minutes in the 2nd half against Norwich.. See how he copes with that and training in the next few days. As it stands he is an obvious starter when there’s no fitness issues, but he’s had some major bad luck on that front so far.

TommyGun

This is Lokonga’s chance to stake a claim to a position over the next few games. If he can consign Xhaka to the bench then it would be no bad thing.

sAMa

Good to have him back.

Freezedawg of Sweden

Lokonga Partey is on! So, so happy.

Daveo

I hope its an eternal ‘konga partey.

Clintoris Eastwood

Football is back! Those interdull are long!

Sean

At last. A near fully fit starting xi (only players we probably would prefer weren’t starters absent now), meaning a proper chance to assess the job Arteta’s doing here without any caveats to fall back on. Even with the pretty slow decision makers on the board, got to feel it’s a make or break few weeks for him now. But more than that, honestly I’m just looking forward to seeing what this pretty talented group of players can do if they finally pick up some consistent minutes with each other. Big chance to rebuild some confidence in the next few… Read more »

Goonerink

If we don’t smash Norwich I will find it extremely hard to get behind an Arteta team again

T.A.

As much as I like Arteta, the City match pretty much made it hard for me to have any faith in him. It’s not the defeat but the manner of it. I’ll of course continue to support him as long as he’s manager but I just feel that Project Youth needs a more experienced hand at management level.

Sean

I agree, that was where I really lost hope in him too. Whatever other problems we had fitness wise etc, it was truly awful. That stat of 24 shots for them and 1 for us still astounds me. Plenty of teams get smashed against City, but I can’t think of any other instance of a team who put up as little opposition as we did. And not to discredit what’s quite clearly a very strong team, but this isn’t the vintage City squad of 2 or 3 years ago. Frightening to think how things would look if we were up… Read more »

SarcasmB0T

Arteta’s done. It’s over. You can’t come in as Mr. Non-negotiables talking about standards and levels and Champions League and have your team meekly roll over in three games running. In my job as a teacher, I’ve seen it many times. The moment you start demanding more of your students than they can expect from you is the moment you lose them. You can afford to be demanding if they know you know your stuff. You can get away with pretty mediocre lessons as long as you’re lenient and fun. But if you want to play a hardass, you had… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Superb post.

👍🍺

Daveo

What sealed it for arteta and edu for me is them coming out last week and stating these overrated experienced “leaders” are untouchable. Just like blogs said…. No accountability. Project youth eh!?

goonshow

After the City fiasco, Norwich is, in my view, the W-arteta-shed moment for our manager.

SarcasmB0t

That pun is in line with our performances this season.

ArteTARRIBLE.

goonshow

or even just Arterrible

Rich

Be interesting to see what we do against Norwich, we need to find some stability and continuity, but… Xhaka suspended Partey has been out for a month, only returned to training yesterday Gabriel, no pre-season, played 45 for the under 23s, and 60 odd in the friendly against Brentford Tomiyasu plays in China today, so is unlikely to make it to training until Thursday at the earliest, it’s likely too early for him to start Sambi is 21, and has only played 2 PL games We’re coming back off an international break, which is always tricky We should still have… Read more »

Qwaliteee

It always amuses me when people substitute the word crucial or important or vital with that poxy word ‘interesting’ – as though this club’s fortunes are all part of some sort of fucking scientific experiment.

Oh look. We’ve just had our arses handed back to us by Brentford, Chelsea and City.

Wasn’t it ‘interesting’ to learn that, once again, we’re a crock of shit…..

Rich

Why is it so surprising to you, that fans are “interested” to see what we do in terms of team selection, on an Arsenal discussion board? Our first 3 games are easy to break down, we lost a game against Brentford that we shouldn’t have, but there were “some” mitigating circumstances as to why that happened We lost at home to Chelsea who are a superior team, when we were missing key players We lost to a superior team in City away, a ground where we’ve won only twice in 11 years, when we were missing key players it’s disappointing,… Read more »

Arshavins left foot

That’s great news. I would like to see a 4-4-2 against Norwich with fresh faces. Ramsdale, Tomiyasu – White – Gabriel – Tierney, Saka – Partie – Lonkonga – Smith Rowe and for a change playing them both up front Lacazette & Aubameyang.

SarcasmB0T

I hope they’ve learned not to rush him back.

Who am I kidding, they never learn.

Viju Jacob

Instead of risking Partey & Gabriel straightaway, Arseta should go in for a 4-1-4-1 formation, using Sambi as a lone pivot. Auba or Laca Saka – ESR – MO – Pepe Sambi KT – White – Takehiro – AMN Leno or Rams What we don’t want is another injury to Partey & Gabriel and instead prime them up for the Spurs game at home. They can get a run at some point in the next two games to get their match fitness up. If the team starts well and has a decent less by the 60th minute Arseta can switch… Read more »

Torterrier

I really don’t think White at LCB will work. Putting Sambi on his own in-front of a defense that has never played together would be pretty reckless.

Cyril

Only we could sign a midfield warrior made of glass who doesn’t seem to have learnt the dark arts of Diego Simeone after 5 years with Beckham’s old nemesis.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

That last paragraph reminded me of the days when I’d worry Van Persie would come back injured from international duty.

We need Partey fit and ready for a full season.

MojoWillneny

He’s the key to the season. We’re a top six side with him, 7th-12th without him. Be great for the team to see him find his rhythm this year in a season’s worth of full fitness.