Mikel Arteta has revealed that Thomas Partey’s injury is more serious than Arsenal first feared and says it will be a ‘few games’ before the Ghana international returns.
Initially, it was believed the £45 million deadline day addition from Atletico Madrid would not be sidelined for too long with what was described as a thigh problem, but he has now sat out Arsenal’s last three matches.
And, speaking after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves, Arteta could not confirm when the midfielder would be ready to return.
“I don’t think he will be with us in the next few games,”said the Gunners boss. “We have been missing a lot of players. We have many, many different issues, but I don’t like to use that excuse.
“At the end of the day, we are all the time really close to winning football matches and we end up losing it in the last few games.
“This is only in our hands with the players that we have. It is what we have to do. We cannot change that. It is in our hands.”
When asked whether Partey’s issue was more serious than first thought, Arteta added: “Yes.”
Arsenal host Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday night before travelling to Tottenham next Sunday for the first north London derby of the season.
They then have Premier League games against Burnley, Southampton and Everton before Christmas, as well as a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester City.
The defeat against Wolves left Arteta’s side 14th in the table with just 13 points from their first 10 league games -their lowest points tally ever at this stage of a Premier League season.
They have scored just 10 goals in the league and could will fall 11 point behind leaders Spurs, should they lose to their neighbours next weekend.
Arteta insists, however, is not worrying about his job, despite his side’s alarming run of form.
“The day I decided to be a coach I know that one day I will be sacked or leave the football club,”he said. “I don’t know if it’s the day after I sign my contact, in a month’s time, a year’s time or six months’ time. I never worry about it.
“My only concern is to get the best out of the players, give the best possible service to the club and become better and better.
Source : goal.com