Mikel Arteta thinks having Thomas Partey back will be a big bonus for the team, particularly for the impact he has on those around him.
Thomas Partey looks to be in line for a return to the Arsenal squad on Thursday night, as Crystal Palace visit the Emirates Stadium. The midfielder hasn’t featured since December 6th, and he didn’t play any minutes for almost a month before that either.
Mikel Arteta is excited to finally have the 27-year-old back, after his injury rehabilitation. The Arsenal manager argues Partey brings more than just raw talent to the side.
“He has got a different presence, he brings something different to the team,” said Arteta. “It is not just about his talent, it is not just about his physicality, it is who he is as a person.
“He makes players better around him and that is a big, big quality. It is incredible that we are in January and we have only played him twice. We have not really seen the impact we believe he could have on the team.”
Arsenal have played Partey a few more times than just ‘twice’, but it’s possible Arteta is referring to the fact that the midfielder has only completed 90 Premier League minutes on two occasions.
In his other three appearances, he went off at half-time twice with injuries and came off the bench for seven minutes in the other game. He also completed 90 minutes in the Europa League win over Rapid Vienna.
“I think it is going to be a big bonus if we can keep him fit,” Arteta continued. “He is a special character and hopefully we can see him on the pitch finally.”