Thomas Partey will spend several weeks in the training room recovering from an “upper leg” injury picked up in Arsenal training ahead of the Manchester United match, per multiple reports. The Ghanaian midfielder is expected to miss at least six to eight weeks. Given his recent history of thigh problems, Arsenal may be cautious with his recovery and return.
Mikel Arteta did not put a timeline on Partey’s recovery but said, “Unfortunately he got an injury in training and it doesn’t look good, we need some more tests, we believe he’s going to be out for weeks. We think it’s a groin but can be something in between.”
A six-week layoff takes us to the middle of the October international break. That means he’d miss Premier League fixtures against Everton, Tottenham, Bournemouth, and Manchester City and Champions League matches against PSV Eindhoven and RC Lens. Arsenal’s first match after the October break is away to Chelsea, followed by a congested slate through the November break that starts on November 11, nine-and-a-half weeks from now.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Partey is out until after the November international window. Just my gut feeling / pessimism talking. That’s longer than the reports have his recovery period, but given his age, recent fitness struggles including slow recoveries, and importance to the squad, it suggests at least the possibility that Partey could be held out longer than initially expected.
Fortunately, Arsenal have Declan Rice, who is fitting in really well, to play at the base of the midfield. For now, the club are alright in terms of injuries and depth, but with Jurrien Timber out for most or all of the season and Partey on the shelf, the team is essentially where they were last year before injuries to William Saliba, Thomas Partey, and Oleksandr Zinchenko derailed the campaign. With a congested October schedule ahead of them, Arsenal are an injury or two away from being in a spot of bother. Mikel Arteta will have to use his bench to keep players as fresh and healthy as possible and won’t have Thomas Partey to lessen the load on Rice or play the inverted fullback role.