Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted to The Sun that he can’t believe Thomas Partey has played so little football for Arsenal this season.
We’re almost halfway through the campaign and the Ghana international has only managed five Premier League appearances for the Gunners so far.
Partey joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid for £45 million in October but a series of injuries have severely limited his impact thus far.
The good news is that the 27-year-old – who hasn’t played since the defeat by Spurs last month – is on the comeback trail and could make the squad for tonight’s visit of Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
And Arsenal captain Aubameyang is relishing the big midfielder’s eventual return, claiming that Partey makes the players around him perform better.
He said: “It’s incredible that we are in January and Thomas has played so few games for us so we haven’t really seen the impact that he can have on our team.
“Obviously we’ve missed him because his presence brings something different to the side. It’s just not about his talent or his physicality, it’s who he is a person. He makes the players around him better and that’s a big quality.”
Mikel Arteta has to manage Partey very, very carefully.
That game at Tottenham in December was his first game back since falling injured in the 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa a month earlier, which illustrates the importance of not rushing the player back too soon.
Arsenal are going for their fifth successive win in all competitions tonight, so having a fully-fit Partey available again can only enhance the team – if he’s managed correctly.
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