Mikel Arteta hails ‘enormous talent’ Thomas Partey as the midfielder prepares to return to Arsenal squad after recovering from a thigh injury as the Spaniard backs £45million star to ‘transform’ the team
- The Ghanaian midfielder could make his return against Newcastle in the FA Cup
- Gunners boss Mikel Arteta believes 27-year-old can ‘transform’ this Arsenal team
- Arsenal beat West Brom 4-0 at the Hawthorns to claim their third win in a row
Mikel Arteta believes the imminent return of Thomas Partey will feel like a new signing for Arsenal as he praised the midfielder’s ‘enormous talent’.
The Ghanaian was signed from Atletico Madrid for £45.3million in the summer transfer window, but has only played a handful of games due to injury.
Partey returned from a month long hiatus to start the north London Derby on December 6, but he broke down again with a recurrence of a thigh problem.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey’s return from injury will feel like a new signing
The 27-year-old is gradually working his way back to full fitness and could feature against Newcastle in the FA Cup on January 9.
Arteta said Partey must come through a couple of additional sessions unscathed before he returns to first team action, but the Gunners boss believes it will be the equivalent of having a new signing in the team.
‘We are in January and I think he’s played two and a half games, that’s all and he was our main signing.’ Arteta said of Partey during a press conference following Saturday’s 4-0 win over West Brom
‘We’ve been missing him. He brings something different to the team, he’s a player with an enormous talent. But as well someone that can transform the team the way we want.
The Ghanaian midfielder’s last appearance for Arsenal was against Tottenham on December 6
‘It’s great if we can have him, keep him healthy and I think he will contribute in a really positive way.
‘He’s done the most part training the last few days. He’s feeling good and we will assess him.
‘He needs another two or three good sessions to see if he’s 100 per cent OK to play. And if that’s the case, great news for us.’
Partey (right) is now back in full training and could return for the FA Cup tie against Newcastle
Arsenal were in impressive form at the Hawthorns on Saturday, it was their third win on the spin and Arteta feels his side are now producing the kind of football that he and supporters want to see.
‘There were moments that I think we were really, really good, both defensively and offensively.
‘Obviously in attacking phases we had moments where it’s exactly what I want, it’s exactly what we tried to train and teach the players to do. And in other moments we became a little bit sloppy.
‘In certain moments where we thought the game was won, which is something that we have to improve. But in general it’s close to what we want.’
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