Arsenal’s massive signing on deadline day of Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey was supposed to be one of the big missing pieces of Mikel Arteta’s tactical jigsaw, but things haven’t worked out too well so far.
After returning from the international break, he was rushed into the Arsenal first team, and after three games in quick succession, the Ghana international broke down in our disastrous game against Aston Villa and had to taken off.
It was first thought to be just a light thigh strain, but he was kept out of the side for a whole month before returning yesterday against Tottenham, and sure enough he didn’t even last the whole of the first half. He was obviously in pain when he walked over to Mikel Arteta on the touchline to tell him the problem, but his timing was awful and he left our defence exposed for Spurs second goal.
Arteta saw the danger and tried to push Partey back into the fray, but he was too late and too slow to stop the goal. Once Arteta understood the problem, he replaced Partey with Ceballos.
The boss told Arsenal.com after the game: “I haven’t seen the action repeated. But it is an injury and it is in the same area unfortunately. We don’t know how bad it is. I was trying to push him but I don’t think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position but that was probably because he was in a lot of pain. It’s nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that.”
So now we need to ask if Partey was given enough time to return to match fitness by Arteta, and if a month wasn’t enough to recover from the injury the first time around, will Arteta have to be extra cautious and not rush him back so quickly this time?
With the glut of games coming up in the next month, we are really going to miss Arteta’s star signing who was supposed to revitalise our ponderous midfield.
Poor Arteta is not getting many breaks at the moment, is he?