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Arsenal's midfield injury woes set to be eased as Partey targets early return

16:59 GMT+3 06/09/2022
Thomas Partey Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is hoping to return from injury as early as Sunday’s Premier League clash with Everton.
  • Partey has not played since August 20
  • Arsenal have won twice & lost once in his absence.
  • Elneny out for months with hamstring issue

WHAT'S HAPPENING? Partey has been forced to sit out Arsenal’s last three games, including Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United, due to a thigh problem he suffered ahead of last month’s meeting with Fulham. But sources close to the player have revealed that his recovery is progressing well and he is hoping to return to full training at some point this week.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Partey’s return return to fitness will be a big boost to Mikel Arteta, with Mohamed Elneny also currently sidelined due to a hamstring issue.

That has left the Arsenal boss with only the relatively inexperienced Sambi Lokonga to call upon during the last two games. And whilst the young Belgian has performed well, having the experienced Partey back available as the holding midfielder will make Arsenal a far stronger proposition.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Arsenal are understandably reluctant to rush Partey back into action, given his importance to the team, but the midfielder is aiming to be involved in Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Everton. The Gunners travel to Switzerland to take on FC Zurich in the Europa League on Thursday night, but it’s highly unlikely the 29-year-old will be considered to for the trip.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT: It’s tough to describe just how important Partey is to this Arsenal team and the system that Arteta plays. Lokonga has not disgraced himself at all in Partey’s absence, but the former Atletico Madrid man just brings far more to that position in front of the back four than any other midfielder in Arteta’s squad.

And even if he doesn’t make Sunday’s game against Everton, having him so close to fitness now will be a massive boost for Arsenal with such a big couple of months to come.

WHAT NEXT FOR PARTEY? Partey has just been called up by Ghana for their upcoming friendlies with Brazil and Nicaragua. It would be no surprise to see Arsenal attempt to get Ghana to change their mind, given Partey’s injury situation.