Arsenal could be without Thomas Partey for the remainder of 2023, according to reports. Mikel Arteta also faces a dilemma over Gabriel Jesus after he was named in the latest Brazil squad despite his ongoing hamstring injury.
Partey has missed much of this season through injury. A groin problem saw him sit out of all of September before returning off the bench in the 1-0 win over Manchester City.
That was his last outing in an Arsenal shirt, though, although he did play twice for Ghana in the most recent international break. Partey suffered another muscular injury at the end of October which Arteta claimed would force him out for a few weeks.
But it appears the issue is worse than first feared. The Mirror reports that Partey may not play again this calendar year.
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That will come as a huge blow to Arsenal who have a busy schedule across the Premier League and Champions League. Partey is a key player when fit but his availability has often been a problem since he joined from Atletico Madrid in 2020.
Arteta also faces a quandary with what to do with Jesus. There are two matches before the last international break of 2023, with Arsenal hosting Sevilla and Burnley this week.
Brazil face Colombia and Argentina in two World Cup qualifiers and Jesus is in their squad. The forward hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring away to Sevilla on October 24.
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The Mirror reports Brazil would have every right to demand Jesus travels if he features in either match this week. Arsenal must decide whether to risk the 26-year-old, with the prospect of him travelling to South America, or hold off until after the international break.
Speaking last month, Arteta admitted concerns over Partey’s constant fitness problems. He said: “It is a big concern because when Thomas is fit and available and he’s been part of the team, we’ve seen the results and the impact that he had.
“This season we have more protection especially for that reason because we know in the last two seasons what has happened and the result it had on the team. We had to address that and now it has happened.
“It can happen in football and I’m so sorry for him because I think he is doing every single thing he can do right to be there. He was gutted and we are for him, but he needs to lift himself up again with our support and go again because he’s a player that is critical for us.”
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