Thomas Partey fit for Liverpool trip Aubameyang to be assessed
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has revealed that midfielder Thomas Partey and forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be “assessed” prior to Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Liverpool on Saturday, 20 November.
Partey missed Arsenal’s last game before the international break which was a 1-0 home win over Watford, and also did not travel with the Ghana squad for their crucial World Cup qualifiers this month.
Prior to that injury, Partey had been a regular fixture in Mikel Arteta’s side, featuring in each of their last seven Premier League matches, having previously missed the first three games of the season with an ankle problem.
Meanwhile, Arsenal skipper Aubameyang was forced to return early from international duty with Gabon after picking up an injury with the national team.
In a boost to Arsenal’s chances, both players are in contention to play this weekend. On Thursday a club press release did include the pair on their injury list.
However, in his pre-match press conference, today on Friday, 19, Arteta admitted that they would need to be monitored further before being declared fit ahead of the tough clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“No it wasn’t pre-planned [for Auba to fly home early], we have to assess him and see how he is and make a decision,” he said.
Arteta further said they have a lot of players who have been through some different games, issues, little injuries, so they have to test everybody and see how they are going to play tomorrow.
The boss gave updates on Partey saying, he could not play for the national team, although he really tried to do that because they had a massive game and he really pushed for that one, he wasn’t close enough to do that.
He insisted they also have to assess the midfielder.
If he does pass a fitness test Partey is set to come straight into the side, likely replacing Ainsley Maitland-Niles alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Once Partey is back in the fold, Arsenal’s injury list will be a short one. The only first-team players definitely not available for selection against Liverpool are Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka.
Kolasinac picked up a nasty-looking ankle injury while on international duty with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The defender has since returned to the UK, where he continues to be assessed to determine the full extent of the damage.
Meanwhile, Xhaka is continuing to recover from a knee injury sustained at the end of September. His rehabilitation is progressing well and the Switzerland international is aiming to be back training normally by the New Year.
Despite the Gunners’ poor start to the season – they lost each of their first three Premier League games – they have turned things around since and could go above Liverpool with a win on Saturday and get into the top four for the first time since Arteta took over the reign at North London.