Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about Thomas Partey ahead of his potential return to action for the Gunners, saying he “makes players better around him”.
The £250,000-a-week star, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium in October, has been working his way back up to fitness after being out of action since early December.
Partey was forced off in the game with Aston Villa in November before suffering a recurrence of his injury against Spurs a month later, and he hasn’t featured for the Gunners since.
However, the Ghana international stepped up his recovery and resumed training with the first team, with Thursday’s game against Crystal Palace a potential comeback match for him.
When asked by football.london whether he’d seen enough from Partey to see he could change the dynamic of the team, Arteta replied: “Absolutely and because obviously we are able to watch him in training. And who he is as well.
“I think he’s got a different presence. I think he brings something different to the team. It’s not just about his talent it’s not, about his physicality, it’s who he is as a person. He makes players better around him and that’s a big quality.
“It’s incredible that we are in January, we signed him in the summer and we only played him twice. So, we haven’t really seen the impact that we believe he could have on the team.
“Obviously, we have missed him. On the other hand we’ve seen players stepping in as well. When that happens they give us some really positive news as well. But I think it’s going to be a big bonus if we can keep him fit.”
Partey joined Arsenal to much fanfare in October, but sadly things haven’t quite gone to plan for him just yet, with injuries limiting his game time in the red and white.
However, the club has not rushed him back this time, giving him time to fully recuperate and, with the team also back in form, his return to the fold will hopefully improve the team further and yield more good results.