football

Arsenal’s midfield transfer plans uncertain after receiving Thomas Partey injury diagnosis


The Ghanaian midfielder faces a short spell on the sidelines (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal will be without Thomas Partey for their Premier League season opener – and perhaps longer – and could be forced into a rethink over their transfer plans.

The Ghana international suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the north Londoners’ pre-season friendly defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, with manager Mikel Arteta not optimistic when asked about Partey afterwards.

‘I just had a talk with the doctor. He’ll have a scan tomorrow,’ explained the Spaniard. ‘At the moment it’s not looking good because he was in pain and he could not continue which for Thomas is pretty unusual.’

Partey’s start to the season has been hampered again (Picture: Getty)

The bad news for Arsenal is that, according to football.london, Partey will certainly miss the club’s Premier League curtain raiser against Brentford while his participation against Chelsea a week later is also in doubt.

Although the injury is not considered to be particularly serious, the former Atletico Madrid man will be touch and go to return to full fitness by the end of the month, meaning Arsenal’s third clash of the season against Manchester City also has a question mark by it.

There is optimism, though, that he could return sooner than expected if his recovery goes exactly to plan.

After that it is the international break, with teams not in action again until mid-September, by which time Partey will almost definitely have made a full recovery.

It has created a short-term issue for Arteta though, leaving him with just four central midfield options: Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Joe Willock and Mohamed Elneny.

Arsenal have been weighing up either selling or loaning Willock to Newcastle again, but any move for the 21-year-old is now likely to be delayed until the very end of the transfer window otherwise Arteta will be left with precious few midfield options for the start of the campaign.

With Partey sidelined, Willock’s chances of a transfer just reduced (Picture: Getty)

Newcastle are still optimistic they can lure Willock back to St James’ Park, but right now he is a genuine option for Arteta at the start of the season while Ainsley Maitland-Niles – who had been deemed surplus to requirements – may also be kept as cover for the first three games of the season with a transfer then happening in the final days of the window.

Asked about the futures of both Willock and Hector Bellerin a few days ago, Arteta said: ‘I don’t know. I’m going to coach them and train them, and respect and look after everybody because they are our players.

‘Hopefully they can have their minds here and prepare here because they are Arsenal players and our job is to make them as good as we can.’


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