Mikel Arteta thinks Thomas Partey looks ready to start against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night, after a week of settling in with Arsenal.
Arsenal signed Thomas Partey on deadline day more than two weeks ago now, but the midfielder is still waiting for his first start with the club.
At first, Partey was away on international duty with Ghana. Then, the Manchester City game arrived just a couple of days after he joined up with the Arsenal squad for the first time. Arteta clearly didn’t think the 27-year-old was ready at that stage.
But after a positive cameo off the bench and a few more days in training, Arteta is much more confident now.
“He reacted really well, he came on and look strong and confident [against City] and he added something positive to the team,” Arteta said.
“It was a very short turnaround for him since he joined the team, he had a day, a day-and-a-half only in training. He has done a few more training sessions and he looks ready to start.”
Arsenal face Rapid Vienna in the opening game of the Europa League group stage, and they’ll want to make a strong start. This is arguably the toughest fixture of the group, so getting three points on the board would set Arteta’s side up nicely.
His new €50m signing would surely help with that, and it would let Partey himself settle in further too, ahead of some challenging Premier League fixtures.
Ideally, he’ll play the first hour or so, then come off to prepare for Leicester City on Sunday.