Arsenal provide Partey, Tierney injury update
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have provided an injury update on Thomas Partey, as the Ghanian midfielder was injured in the defeat at Aston Villa, while there was also an update on Kieran Tierney.
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Partey, who has only just returned from a long-term thigh issue, pulled up in the second half at Villa Park and it looks like he could be set for another spell on the sidelines with a hamstring issue.
Ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Leeds at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (start time, 11:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Arteta revealed the latest on Partey’s injury.
“He was devastated, we were all devastated because we know the importance of Thomas and we haven’t had him since we signed him, we haven’t had him in three games consecutively,” Arteta said. “I think he has only played 90 minutes once since he has come back from injury, so it is a big blow for us but he is adapting to the league, he has been very unlucky as well.
“He is very frustrated because he is a very competitive guy who wants to feel important and be important for the team and at the moment the injuries are restricting a lot of game time for him. He felt something during the game [at Villa Park] and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan looked a little bit worse. He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next two days but it is a muscular issue.”
Partey is crucial to Arsenal’s defensive structure and it will be a huge blow if he’s missing for another month or so at a pivotal moment in the season.
With Arsenal suffering back-to-back defeats at Wolves and Aston Villa in the space of a few days, individual mistakes have cost them dear with David Luiz and Bernd Leno at fault in midweek as they were sent off, and Cedric was at fault inside 74 seconds at Villa.
Arsenal’s top four hopes seem a long, long way off after a tough week well and truly ended their recent resurgence.
Kieran Tierney to return soon?
There was some positive Arsenal injury news and team news from Arteta.
Luiz and Leno will be available against Leeds after their one-match suspension and although Kieran Tierney isn’t fit for this weekend, he is expected to return soon.
“Kieran is recovering well from a strain to the right lower leg and is aiming to integrate back into training next week,” Arsenal said in a statement.
Arsenal have been forced to play Cedric out of position at left back to cover for Tierney and they have badly missed the flying Scotsman down the left flank.
Back-to-back defeats, but Arteta happy with display at Villa
Defensive mistakes aside, Arteta was happy with the way Arsenal played at Villa last time out.
“It was a really strong performance again today,” Arteta said. “We completely dominated the game, we dominated every department and we should have won the game. But, in the Premier League when you just give a goal to opponents, and then you are not ruthless in the box, you cannot win these games.
“That’s something we have to do better [be more ruthless] and that’s something that has cost us in the last two games. As you could see me I was really animated for a few decisions and one big decision, that I will not discuss here as well what happened. But it is what it is. It is not an excuse. Regardless of those decisions we have to win the game. It is as simple as that.”
Top four hopes seem far-fetched for Arsenal
Arsenal are now nine points off the top four with 15 games to go, and teams above them have games in-hand on the Gunners.
It’s not impossible, because we’ve already seen this side is streaky and we know there are a lot of weird results this season.
But it seems like Arsenal’s best chance of being in the Champions League next season is winning the Europa League. Arteta must now decide if that is the case and tweak his starting lineup between Premier League and Europa League accordingly.
Let’s see if he makes changes for this game, with Arsenal playing against Benfica in the Europa League this Thursday.