Arteta believes Arsenal fans will soon see the best of Partey


ikel Arteta insists Arsenal did not rush Thomas Partey back for the north London derby earlier this season and fans will soon see the best of him in England.

Partey, who joined Arsenal in the summer from Atletico Madrid for around £45million, has struggled for fitness this season.

The midfielder injured his thigh earlier in November and it forced him to be out for nearly a month, before he returned for the trip to Tottenham on December 6.

Partey had to limp off midway through that 2-0 loss, however, and he did not play again until the middle of January.

The 27-year-old has started to enjoy a run of games since then and he is expected to start when Arsenal host Spurs on Sunday, having been taken off before the hour-mark in Thursday’s Europa League win against Olympiacos.

Arteta is convinced, too, that Arsenal fans will see the best of Partey soon, while also dismissing claims he rushed him back for December’s north London Derby.

“He ticked every box to be able to play in that game,” Arteta explained. “After every injury there is a risk for a period, whether it is five days, a week, two weeks or three weeks depending on the load that the player is exposed to.

“But it was a really specific action where he just overstretched the area going to the floor and got his foot trapped and then he felt it again, before the game you cannot know that would have been the way.

“It would be easy to say: ‘Yes, we made a mistake’ – but who would have known if he had played the next game or if he had come off the bench and played 30 minutes instead?”

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Partey is starting to find his feet in north London now and the player declared this week he was getting close to his best.

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