Partey boost for Arsenal ahead of Chelsea clash

Ghana manager, Chris Hughton, has eased fears that Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has sustained an injury on interna­tional duty.

The 30-year-old has already missed six of the Gunners’ 11 games across all competitions this season after picking up a groin problem in a 2-2 draw with Fulham in August.

Arsenal were boosted by Partey’s return to the matchday squad for the 1-0 win over Premier League champions, Manchester City, before the international break, with the midfielder making a 15-minute cameo appearance as a substitute

Partey was then selected to start for Ghana in an international friendly against Mexico on Sunday, but he lasted for just 45 minutes, with the Black Stars eventually losing the game 2-0.

 There had been suggestions that Partey had picked up another injury, but Hughton has since played down such rumours and has insisted that he always intended to manage the midfielder’s minutes considering his recent fitness issues.

Speaking about Partey at a press conference, as quoted by the Evening Standard, Hughton said: “Thomas was always only going to play 45 minutes.

“He has been out injured for three to four weeks, he came back for Arsenal last midweek, was on the subs bench for one game played 20 minutes for the next game. So we knew he was only going to play 45 minutes.”

The news about Partey comes as a major boost for Arsenal,who will resume their campaign after the international break with a Lon­don derby away against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

Mikel Arteta is dealing with other injury concerns, though, as Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Leandro Trossard all withdrew from their respective national team squads earlier this month due to injury.

Saka sustained a hamstring problem in a Champions League defeat to Lens which forced him to miss the Premier League win over Man City and pull out of the England squad.

However, Arsenal are said to be optimistic that the winger can make a full recovery in time for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea.

The Gunners are also hopeful of having Saliba available for selec­tion as the defender’s toe injury that forced him to withdraw from the France squad is not as bad as first feared.

It remains to seen whether Trossard will be fit to feature, though, after the Belgium winger pulled out of the national team squad with a hamstring injury.

Arsenal’s only other injury con­cern is with defender Jurrien Tim­ber, who is not expected to return until the New Year as he continues to recover from an ACL problem.

Arteta’s side currently sit level on points with North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the Premier League table after win­ning six and drawing two of their opening eight games.-Sport Mole

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