Thomas Partey is now likely to miss the entirety of Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Benfica, due to a hamstring injury.
Thomas Partey picked up yet another injury against Aston Villa last weekend. This time it was a hamstring problem, which initially didn’t seem too serious, but Mikel Arteta says a scan on the problem brought bad news.
“He felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan, it looked a little bit worse,” Arteta said. “He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next few days but it’s a muscular issue.”
Football.London add that they understand Partey isn’t just going to miss the Leeds United clash, but also both Europa League matches against Benfica. That’s a big blow for the team, with a lot riding on the European ties at the moment.
Arteta added, “He was devastated, we were all devastated because we know the importance of Thomas and we haven’t had him since we signed him, we haven’t had him in three games consecutively.
“I think he has only played 90 minutes once since he has come back from injury, so it is a big blow for us but he is adapting to the league, he has been very unlucky as well and he is very frustrated because he is a very competitive guy who wants to feel important and be important for the team and at the moment the injuries are restricting a lot of game time for him.”
Given Arsenal’s position in the league, winning the Europa League may well turn out to be their only route into Europe next season. There are no cup runs to fall back on this time.
Obviously, it’s a huge long shot. We already know how one bad match will kill you in the Europa League, however well you play until then. The absence of players like Partey only makes things more difficult.
This is Partey’s third serious injury of the season, in addition to a number of knocks. He missed most of November and most of December with his last two setbacks.