Mikel Arteta has given a positive update on Thomas Partey’s fitness status ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Crystal Palace on Thursday.

Arsenal's Thomas Partey during the UEFA Europa League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: 5th November 2020. Photo: David Klein / Sportimage
Arsenal’s Thomas Partey during the UEFA Europa League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: 5th November 2020. Photo: David Klein / Sportimage

Thomas Partey returned to full squad training over the last week or so, but he wasn’t involved in Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Newcastle United at the weekend.

Speaking afterwards, Mikel Arteta explained that the midfielder was just a little bit short for the match. However, it looks like he has a good chance to be involved against Crystal Palace back in the Premier League on Thursday.

“We assessed the situation (with Partey ahead of the Newcastle match), how much training he’s done, the boxes that he ticked and he was still a little bit short,” Arteta said.

“Hopefully we will have him in the squad on Thursday. Let’s see how he trains in the next couple of days. He’s really good at the moment.”

That’s very good news for Arsenal fans, who would love to see him back in the starting lineup again. Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos have filled the right-central-midfield role well enough, but never with much consistency.

Granit Xhaka is back in form in the current system, and it would be an exciting prospect to see him alongside Partey and behind the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka. It certainly has the makings of a strong side.