Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he isn’t confident that he will be able to welcome back Thomas Partey this season.
The Ghanaian midfielder hasn’t played since the 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this month and was reportedly out for the season.
Speaking at his press-conference ahead of their clash with Southampton on Saturday, Arteta admitted he doesn’t expect to be able to call upon Partey again this campaign.
“The news that we got after another assessment is not looking very positive for his availability this season. At the moment we’re not very optimistic.”
It was also revealed on Friday that forward Alexandre Lacazette had not been seen in training and Arteta revealed that, whilst he couldn’t say why he was missing, he hoped he would be available.
“We have a few issues with him [Partey] and [Takehiro] Tomiyasu.”
Mikel Arteta on squad availability for Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/KyfJG3Hx6M
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 15, 2022
“There are private reasons that I can’t comment on but I have no other team news apart from the guys we discussed. We will see if he’s available. It’s a good possibility that that’s the case.”
Another player who is missing for Arteta at present is left-back Kieran Tierney. The Scotland international’s absence has proven difficult for Arsenal, who have lost both matches without him.
Arteta chose to play midfielder Granit Xhaka at at left-back in the defeat to Brighton last time out, leaving natural defender Nuno Tavares on the bench.
And the Spaniard hinted that Tavarez is struggling for confidence at the moment.
“When I put a player on the pitch I see he’s in the right position to do that. When he see that he’s doubting I don’t give him any favours in doing that. Look at the stats when Granit plays at left back. You don’t get much better than that
“He needs to go through periods of belief.
“When I’m convinced to do something that I believe is best for the team I do it.”
The Gunners will face a Southampton side looking to bounce back from a 6-0 mauling at home to Chelsea last time out.
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