While some of our players are on international duty and others who did not link up with their national teams are resting and recharging, Mikel Arteta should be devising a flawless tactical plan to unleash when Arsenal returns to action (against Chelsea).We almost certainly expect Thomas Partey to play the next time Arsenal plays. Mikel Arteta will be tempted to use him more now after his excellent cameo in our 1-0 win over Manchester City, and he played another 45 minutes for Ghana last night as well, proving his return to fitness.
That said, it is unknown how Arteta will reintroduce Thomas Partey into his starting lineup. The Ghana international played as an inverted right back in the opening few games of the season before picking up an injury, and while many of us were uneasy with him doing so, Arteta should have had a good reason to do so.
We shouldn’t be surprised if he reprises that role against Chelsea. However, this could imply that Gabriel Magalhaes is dropped, as he was in the first three games of the season. Is dropping the Brazilian defender a wise move given his improved form and his threat in corners and other set pieces?
Other than playing as an inverted right back, he could also return to the No. 6 role, which would allow Declan Rice to play as an offensive midfielder or vice versa. This structure has the potential to radically alter the dynamics of our engine room. But will Arteta go that route?
Where Thomas Partey will play is a mystery. Even so, there are hints that after the international break, he could play a major role. Such a hint is that Mikel Arteta is focused on getting him match fit again, thus sending him to international duty with an Arsenal physician.
Chelsea preparing to face us may not know what to expect, and Partey’s positioning may be the hidden weapon — an element of surprise — we employ to crush them and claim London’s bragging rights.
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