Partey’s loss has been felt
The loss of Thomas Partey for Arsenal this season has been massive. The Gunners signed Partey from Atletico Madrid in the summer for £45 million after activating the Ghanaian’s release clause.
Despite the player’s good injury record at his previous club, he has faced nothing but issues since arriving at Arsenal. The 27-year-old was substituted at halftime against Aston Villa, in the 3-0 defeat to the West Midlands Club, and missed the subsequent matches leading up to the North London Derby in which he was seemingly rushed back.
Partey did not reach the half-time whistle and had to be substituted after an injury occurred in a similar region to the one previously. Arsenal’s midfield has since been made up of varying combinations of Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny.
The drop in quality between these players and Partey is significant and the midfield of The Gunners has been an area that other teams have exploited during the poor run of form Arsenal have suffered this season.
Made worse by the red card Xhaka received in the 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, Arsenal failed to win the following 3 games without the Swiss midfielder. However, there were signs of hope when Xhaka returned for the match against Chelsea in which the 28-year old was excellent in the 3-1 win.
Good news welcomed Arsenal fans on Monday afternoon after pictures were released of Thomas Partey training ahead of Arsenal’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion.
It is not expected that Partey will be fit for the match, with a projected return tipped to be sometime in January.
توماس بارتي يشارك في التدريبات مع باقي أفراد التشكيلة. كما ذكرنا مسبقًا، النادي كان يضع يناير موعدًا محتملاً لعودته. pic.twitter.com/R8fd822z4O
— TheAFCBell🔔 (@TheAFCBeII) December 28, 2020
The midfield decisions which Arteta has to choose from will be intriguing ahead of the journey to the south coast. After Xhaka’s impressive display and a three-match rest, it is unlikely that the Swiss midfielder will be dropped.
With Mohamed Elneny playing a significant amount of games recently in succession it would be unlikely to see him start again and therefore Dani Ceballos may come in to start in his place. Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Joe Willock offer alternatives should Arteta not wish to choose the Spaniard.
Centrally, however, the decision whether to start Emile Smith-Rowe for his second Premier League game in succession is a big one. The youngster performed excellently and provided Arsenal with the swift turn of pace that they have been lacking in addition to the central creativity and incisive passing which has also been absent from the Arsenal team.
The Gunners will be up against a stubborn Brighton defence and could use Smith-Rowe and his passing range to break down the inevitable low block from the Seagulls.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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|3||Leicester City FC||15||9||28|
|4||Manchester United FC||14||7||27|
|5||Tottenham Hotspur FC||15||11||26|
|6||Manchester City FC||14||9||26|
|7||Aston Villa FC||13||14||25|
|10||West Ham United FC||15||2||22|
|11||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||15||-5||21|
|13||Newcastle United FC||14||-7||18|
|14||Crystal Palace FC||15||-9||18|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||15||-6||13|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||15||-19||8|
|20||Sheffield United FC||15||-18||2|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||13|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||11|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||11|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||11|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||10|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||10|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||9|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||8|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||8|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||6|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||6|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||6|
|Abraham, Tammy||Chelsea FC||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||5|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||5|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||5|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City FC||5|
|El Ghazi, Anwar||Aston Villa FC||5|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||5|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Romeu, Oriol||Southampton FC||0||5|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||5|
|Cash, Matty||Aston Villa FC||0||5|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||5|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||4|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||4|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||4|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||4|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||0||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||4|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||4|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||0||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa FC||0||3|
|Berge, Sander||Sheffield United FC||0||4|
|Phillips, Kalvin||Leeds United||0||4|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||4|
|Dunk, Lewis||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||3|
|Mendy, Nampalys||Leicester City FC||0||4|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||3|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||6|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||6|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||5|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||4|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||4|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||4|
|Adams, Che||Southampton FC||4|
|Chilwell, Benjamin||Chelsea FC||4|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||4|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||4|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||4|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||3|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||3|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||3|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||3|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||3|