Thomas Partey’s Arsenal debut touted by Mikel Arteta despite lack of training

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted that Thomas Partey could make his first start for the club tonight.

Partey signed for the Gunners on transfer deadline day after the Premier League giants paid his Atletico Madrid release clause.

The midfielder came off the bench against Manchester City as Arsenal were beaten and could now start in tonight’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna.

Partey has been involved with more training alongside his team-mates having previously had little time to adapt following international duty.

Though Arteta is confident that the Ghanaian is up to speed and ready to star for the Gunners.

When asked how Partey had reacted after coming off the bench at the Etihad, Arteta said: “He has reacted really well.

“I think he came on and looked strong, looked confident and he added something positive to the team. It was a very short turnaround from him.

“Since he joined he had a day, a day and a half only in training. He has done a few more training sessions and he looks ready to start.”

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Arsenal begin their Europa League group stage campaign by heading to Austrian before hosting Leicester in the Premier League at the weekend.

Arteta added: “We are very excited to be playing back in Europe again after a difficult season where we had to earn our right to play here through winning the FA Cup. It's a big bonus for us.

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“We want to make the best out of it and every competition that we are involved in. Our aim is to try to win it.

“Depending on what happens and this COVID situation, depending on the injuries… I believe we have the squad to try and fight till the last moment, and the passion.

“What we're looking for in this competition is to go as far as possible and win it.”

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