Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta all but confirmed in his press conference today that Thomas Partey’s injury will keep him out for the remainder of the season.
The Ghanaian hobbled off the pitch after picking up a muscle injury on his right thigh in the game against Crystal Palace last week. The injury did seem serious at the time and sadly, that has now been confirmed.
“Yes, the news that we got after a lot of assessments is not great. It’s not looking very positive for his availability this season,” Arteta said today, as per Arsenal.com.
Three Arsenal wonderkids who can step up to replace Thomas Partey
Arsenal are extremely short of options in the middle of the park now and Granit Xhaka playing at left-back in place of Kieran Tierney leaves us with even lesser options.
Arteta has to find a way to make things work and there are a few young midfielders from our fantastic academy he could turn to if really required.
Here’s a look at three of them…
The 19-year-old spent the first half of the season on loan at Portsmouth and he impressed at times. However, he just wasn’t given enough opportunities there and Arsenal brought him back in January as a result.
Azeez has been playing for the under-23s and has often been spotted in first-team training. He was on the bench against Brighton last weekend and he may well make the squad when we head to Southampton tomorrow.
If things go his way, Azeez could get an opportunity in the first team in the coming weeks.
The 18-year-old is arguably the most exciting young player at Arsenal at the moment. He scored on his first-team debut back in December but then had a disappointing experience away at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
Patino is a regular in senior training sessions at London Colney and he would’ve learned a lot by rubbing shoulders with the likes of Partey and Xhaka.
It won’t be a surprise to see him get a few minutes under his belt in the coming weeks, especially if Xhaka continues at left-back and Arteta decides against using Mohamed Elneny, who has played just six minutes of football for Arsenal since the turn of the year.
Salah Eddine Oulad M’Hand:
Salah Eddine is an unlikely option but he is one who could well be considered because of his versatility.
The 18-year-old Dutchman can play anywhere in midfield – as a six, eight and even as a 10. He is a complete player with immense potential, and fans who have watched him play for the youth side have been blown away by his talent.
We don’t really expect Salah to get any game time this season but if Arteta wants a flexible academy option in midfield, the youngster may just be the man he’ll turn to at some point this term.