Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey’s absence will be a big blow for Arsenal, with the midfielder forced to miss Tuesday’s clash with Sevilla after picking up yet another injury.
The Ghana international has struggled for consistent game time this season and missed four consecutive Premier League matches with a groin injury.
He was eased back into action with a cameo appearance against Manchester City before the international break and then played against both Mexico and USA for his nation.
Partey was an unused substitute for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and was pictured in training on Monday.
But he was missing from the matchday squad for Tuesday’s trip to Seville in the Champions League and did not travel to Spain.
Arsenal quickly confirmed that and Arteta has now given more insight into Partey’s absence, revealing that he picked up the fresh problem in training on Monday.
Asked why the 30-year-old was not in the squad, Arteta told TNT Sports: ‘Thomas picked up an injury yesterday [Monday] in training, unfortunately.
‘It’s a muscle injury, we don’t know the extent of it. Big miss for us.’
After Tuesday’s trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Arsenal are next in action on Saturday when they host strugglers Sheffield United at the Emirates, with Partey now a significant doubt for that match.
The Gunners face a gruelling run of games before the next international break and cannot afford to be without Partey for long, with trips to West Ham – in the Carabao Cup – and Newcastle on the horizon, before they host Sevilla and then Burnley.
With Partey sidelined, Jorginho retained his place in midfield against Sevilla but Oleksandr Zinchenko dropped out of the starting XI in favour of Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Asked if that decision was at all injury related, Arteta said of Zinchenko: ‘He’s fine, but he played a lot of minutes as well recently, with the national team, travelling back, and we have time to change things during the game.’
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