Update on Thomas Partey return and chances to feature in Arsenal vs Burnley fixture
Thomas Partey “pushing” despite managed load
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta provided a fresh update on key midfielder Thomas Partey, with the Ghanaian international edging closer to a full return to first-team duties.
Partey has yet to feature this season for the Gunners who have started slow out of the gates in the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, losing three on the spin before finally arresting their early-season slide with a 1-0 win against Norwich this past weekend.
Arteta did not give a timetable regarding his availability, but was optimistic about what he has seen from the former Atlético Madrid man;
“He’s been training in and out this week. His load has had to be managed, but he’s pushing everybody as always and he wants to be involved. We’ll see what’s best for him.”
The upcoming weekend clash with Burnley at Turf Moor does seem to be too early for Partey, but Arsenal could certainly do with a full return of a key central figure given thinned-out options in the middle of the park at current.
Arsenal relying on thin options during Partey injury
There has been a certain amount of criticism surrounding Arsenal and their summer spend spree. Despite of the overall success of the window, the Gunners failed to bring in additional central reinforcements apart from youngster Sambi Lokonga, or, the inability to sell Mohamed Elneny and find a suitable upgrade to replace the Egyptian international.
As such, Arteta went into the new season with veteran Granit Xhaka partnering Lokonga in the center of the park. But with the Swiss international seeing red against Manchester City, the Arsenal headmaster gave Ainsley Maitland-Niles (a player many thought would leave before the transfer deadline) alongside Lokonga, and the pair helped push the club to their first win of the season.
Many are eager to see a Partey-Lokonga duopoly before Xhaka has finished serving his three-match ban, and certainly, Burnley would be a decent proving ground to test the viability of it this season despite Xhaka having his contract extended when his desired move to AS Roma broke down.
But at the very least, the return of such a key figure into the team – with the North London Derby just down the road – would be a valuable care package that could aid in Arsenal finding form after such a poor early start to the campaign.