Kevin Campbell claims Arsenal ‘nurturing’ Thomas Partey following £45m transfer
Kevin Campbell has told Highbury Squad that Mikel Arteta is still having to nurture Thomas Partey following the midfielder’s transfer to Arsenal from Atletico Madrid last summer.
Partey completed a £45million (BBC) move to the Emirates Stadium in a last-ditch Deadline Day deal in October after the Gunners triggered a release clause in the Ghanaian’s contract.
But Arteta has been unable to fully utilise Partey’s presence in his engine room with the 27-year-old suffering a spate of injuries, which have kept him sidelined for 16 matches.
Partey has suffered with muscle, hip and hamstring problems since arriving in north London, which Campbell believes is down to the 29-cap star struggling with the physical demands of the Premier League.
“Partey never had injuries [at Atleti],” the former Gunners striker said. “He has had three or four injuries since he has been at Arsenal. “I think, right up until now, we have still been kind of nurturing him, trying to make sure he gets through games.
“Again, Spanish football and England football [is] totally different. The game is the same, but the physicality is different. So, he has to get up to speed on that physicality.”
After missing eight of his first available 13 Premier League fixtures, Partey has been awarded minutes in all but two of Arsenal’s following 20 games of which he’s started 13.
Campbell is right in saying that Partey never had any significant injuries during his career in Spain, with TransferMarkt recording the midfielder as missing just six games in total and five of those matches coming back in 2015/16.
He also featured in at least 32 of the available La Liga fixtures in each of his last three full seasons, but it would be wrong to now pigeonhole all of his problems in an Arsenal shirt at getting accustomed to the physicality of the Premier League.
Partey arrived at the Emirates a month into the campaign and having to play catch-up to his new teammates in getting to grips with Arteta’s system, while also going through a raft of faces beside him in midfield as the Spaniard searched for answers to the Gunners’ form.
Partey’s injury problems now appear to be fading with him missing just two league games since January, and having a full term under his belt plus pre-season should allow him to kick on in the 2021/22 campaign.
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