Arsenal: Thomas Partey ‘could be available’ vs Leicester
Arsenal may be gifted a significant injury boost as Thomas Partey ‘could be available’ to play Leicester City away from home in the Premier League.
The Lowdown: Partey hopeful
It was reported earlier this week that Partey was hopeful that he could play against Leicester, after missing the last two games in the Premier League through injury.
January signing Jorginho has come in and played in his place, but him starting has given Arsenal a lack of defensive-minded midfield options on the bench.
The Latest: Available?
Speaking to the media in his pre-game press conference ahead of their match at the King Power Stadium, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Partey ‘could be available‘ after injury, but the club needs to continue to assess him in training:
“Thomas hasn’t trained much, but looks like he could be available. Let’s see how he trains today.”
The Verdict: Start Jorginho
Given the injury problems that he has had in the past, the Gunners should be looking to ease Partey back in, and not throw him straight into the starting line-up against the Foxes.
Jorginho has filled in well in his absence, and was voted as Arsenal’s man-of-the-match in the 4-2 win away at Aston Villa last weekend, with his ferocious effort in injury time cannoning back off the crossbar before hitting Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez on the back of the head and going in, giving his team a very late lead.
There is no doubt that Partey has a big influence on the team, averaging more tackles, interceptions and passes per game in the top flight than any of his team-mates.
However, Arteta should continue with Jorginho in the defensive midfield role on current form, and leave Partey on the bench to come on if needed.