Arsenal have Thomas Partey problem for Mikel Arteta to think about before Tottenham clash


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has a serious problem to consider regarding Thomas Partey’s injury problems, with the Gunners’ record with the Ghanian far superior with him versus when he misses out. The 29-year-old is a major doubt for the north London Derby with Tottenham later today with a knee injury picked up on international duty and the Spaniard may now be forced to return to the transfer market to sign a more reliable replacement. 

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Partey has become a key player for Arsenal since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2020, making 63 appearances in his two-year stint. He gives the midfield defensive solidity alongside Granit Xhaka allowing the likes of Martin Odegaard and Buyako Saka the licence to attack without having to be too preoccupied with defensive concerns. 

However, he has been beset by injury issues with his current knee problem the second time he has been forced to miss games already this season. The holding midfielder spent three weeks out earlier in the campaign, missing five matches including the Gunners’ only defeat of the season at the hands of fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

His importance is underlined by the statistics which show that Arsenal pick up fewer points in the Premier League when he is not in the side. The club have played 45 games in the top flight since the start of last season and have gained 2.2 points per match in the 28 times Partey has been in the side. The team have won 20 of the matches in question, losing six. 

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However, there is a stark contrast when he is not available. The Gunners’ have taken just 1.5 points per match in the remaining 17 games that he has been absent from. The north Londoners have won eight and lost eight of the matches, a poorer record than when he is in the side. 

Arteta may now be forced back into the transfer market given the need for a higher-quality replacement for the Ghana international. The club were strongly linked with a move for Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz on deadline day after Partey suffered his thigh injury and were believed to have had a bid of around £35million rejected.

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With the Brazilian’s contract running out next summer he could be someone who Arteta decides to revisit – but it is certainly a position the club need to strengthen, with January business potentially on the horizon with Youri Tielemans another player heavily linked. 

The match at the Emirates later today will be a cause for anxiety for Arsenal supporters should Partey not make the line-up given their record without the Ghanian. 

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