Arsenal v Newcastle: Match in pictures
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta teased a possible comeback for Thomas Partey ahead of this week’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace. Gunners fans are keen to see the midfielder end his injury exile after he impressed following his arrival on the final day of the summer transfer window.
There were hopes Partey might make his return from a thigh injury in Arsenal’s FA Cup tie against Newcastle United on Saturday.
But there was no place in the matchday squad for the 27-year-old as Arteta’s side needed extra time to beat the Magpies thanks to goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Partey has been out since early November after suffering a thigh injury in the Gunners’ defeat to Aston Villa.
He returned for 45 minutes against Tottenham in December but was forced off and has not been in action since – with his spell on the sidelines coinciding with an alarming dip in form which was only recently reversed.
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Partey had made just five Premier League appearances and played one game in the Europa League before being sidelined, and looked particularly impressive in Arsenal’s win over Manchester United in November.
So his return is eagerly anticipated – and Arteta issued an optimistic bulletin ahead of Thursday’s trip to Selhurst Park.
Asked whether Partey had been left out against Newcastle due to his ongoing issues, Arteta said: “Yes, because we assessed the situation, how much training he’s done, the boxes that he ticked and he was still a little bit short.”
However, the manager was hopeful that the five-day gap before Arsenal’s next game would give Partey enough time to prepare for a return to action.
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“Hopefully we will have him in the squad on Thursday,” said Arteta. “Let’s see how he trains in the next couple of days. He’s really good at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Arteta could spring a January transfer window surprise by recalling exiled loanee Matteo Guendouzi early from his spell at Hertha Berlin.
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Guendouzi has impressed in Germany, and Bild has claimed the midfielder is set to return to Arsenal either to challenge for a place in the first team or to be sold.
Hertha have already lined up a replacement for Guendouzi, the statement claims, with Wolfsburg ace Yannick Gerhardt on the club’s shortlist.
Koln are also believed to be interested in the 26-year-old.
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