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Arsenal are hopeful that Thomas Partey will be fit for Saturday’s huge North London Derby clash against Tottenham Hotspur, football.london understands. The Ghanaian midfielder returned from international duty early after sustaining a knee injury.
Partey only made his return from injury against Brentford just before the international break, after missing games against Fulham, Aston Villa and Manchester United with a tight right groin. While the Gunners are optimistic that he’ll be available, Partey remains a doubt for the visit of Antonio Conte’s side.
Arsenal have had an outstanding start to the season, but a widely-held opinion among the fanbase is that the Gunners lack depth in midfield, particularly given the injury problems Partey and Mohamed Elneny have suffered so far this term. Arsenal have been linked with January moves for a number of midfielders including Douglas Luiz and Lovro Majer.
Former Gunners defender Mikael Silvestre believes that Arsenal are ‘stretched’ in midfield when Partey is unavailable, meaning mid-season additions could be a necessity. With the midfield battle against Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Rodrigo Bentancur likely to be key on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium, Silvestre says Partey’s potential absence could spell trouble for his old club.
“He is a big piece of the puzzle for Mikel Arteta,” Silvestre told Betting Expert. “Arsenal is showing they are stretched as soon as there is an injury to [Granit] Xhaka or Partey. They are short on bodies so it could be problematic this season.
“Partey is showing he is good on the ball. He has got that physicality that is needed in the middle part, he is making challenges. So if he doesn’t play, that is trouble for Arsenal.”