Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey to make training return ahead of north London derby clash with Tottenham

George Flood
·2-min read
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal could be significantly bolstered by the return of Thomas Partey for Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.

The Ghanaian midfielder was Mikel Arteta’s headline summer signing after joining the Gunners from Atletico Madrid in a £45million deal on deadline day, yet his start to life in English football has been disrupted by injury.

Partey has been restricted to just five appearances for Arsenal so far in 2020/21 and has not played at all since being substituted at half-time of the woeful 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa on November 8.

Arteta revealed earlier this week that the 27-year-old - who had hoped to be back in action after the November international break - was set for another scan on his thigh problem after training separately for a week and pushing to be involved against Tottenham.

Partey was not involved on Thursday night as Arsenal welcomed back 2,000 fans to Emirates Stadium with a 4-1 Europa League win over Rapid Vienna, but Arteta offered hope after the final whistle that he could feature in some capacity on Sunday if his return to full team training on Friday goes without a hitch.

<p>Thomas Partey is hoping to be involved for Arsenal in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham</p>Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Thomas Partey is hoping to be involved for Arsenal in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“Well, he’s putting a lot of pressure to us, he’s training tomorrow with us and let’s see how it goes in the next couple of days,” Arteta told reporters on Thursday evening.

The Spaniard was full of praise for first goalscorer Alexandre Lacazette and the versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles after the win over Vienna and hinted after an impressive display that members of a much-changed XI could potentially keep their places for the derby as Arsenal look to improve following their worst start to a top-flight season since 1981.

“You’ve seen that in the last few games we’ve used some players on Thursday and they played on the weekend,” Arteta said. "This can change and this will change.

“I try to use different competitions to put two different teams, it’s because as well we are using them with the amount of injuries, suspensions and things that we had the performance level that they can give is in very good positions and you can see tonight that some of them might deserve to start the game on Sunday.”

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