Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says summer signing Thomas Partey looks set to miss the ‘next few games’ after failing to quickly recover from an injury picked up before the international break.
Ghanaian midfielder Partey, who joined the Gunners from Atletico Madrid for £45m, has not featured since November 8, when he came off at half-time in the 3-0 defeat against Aston Villa.
While it was originally thought the 27-year-old picked up a minor thigh injury, he has already missed three weeks of action and Arteta confirmed on Sunday night that Partey looks set to miss an extended period, including next week’s north London derby.
Mikel Arteta delivers worrying Thomas Partey injury update as Arsenal woes continue Thomas Partey has not featured for Arsenal since before the international break, and Mikel Arteta has delivered some bad news about a potential return date for the Ghanian
‘He had an injury very early in the game [against Aston Villa], he wanted to continue the second half,’ Arteta said, after Arsenal’s 2-1 loss at home to Wolves on Sunday.
‘We knew it was a significant injury. He’s done very well and he’s working very hard, he wants to be available.
‘Hopefully we can get him back soon but it’s an area we need to be careful and we need to be protective with the player.
‘I don’t think he will be with us in the next few games.’
That means Partey is likely to miss Thursday’s Europa League dead rubber against Rapid Vienna, as well as the north-London derby versus Tottenham on Sunday.
Meanwhile, despite Partey’s injury, Arteta admitted his ‘biggest concern’ right now is the poor form of his captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang hasn’t scored in open play since the opening day of the season against Fulham and on Sunday, he had just one shot on target and had only nine touches in Wolves’ penalty area.
Asked if he was worried, Arteta said: ‘I think we all are because the main goalscorer of the club at the moment isn’t scoring goals, so my biggest concern is how to help him more to score goals because we need his goals.
‘How important Auba has been for this club in the last two years and how the goal sheet has been shared among the squad tells you his importance.
‘He needs to be scoring goals if we want to be successful.’