Arteta, Arsenal coach, ready to receive Partey ‘special’ back from injury

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The big-money signing has returned from injury and his coach praised the “special” presence of the midfielder.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised Thomas Partey and his impact as the star midfielder prepares to return to the Gunners.

Partey has been restricted to just six games for Arsenal since arriving from La Liga’s Atletico Madrid in a £ 45 million deal three months ago.

Only one of those appearances came in the past two months, having compounded a thigh injury in Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Tottenham London in December.

However, Partey is back in contention for Thursday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace and Arteta is excited to be able to call in one of his key men once again.

“I think he has a different presence, he brings something different to the team,” Arteta said. “It’s not just about his talent, it’s not just about his physique, it’s who he is as a person.

“He makes the players better around him and that’s a great, great quality.”

“It is incredible that we are in January, we signed him in October and we have only played him [a handful of times]. “

Partey has completed 2.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in his five Premier League outings and attempted 3.25 tackles per game that no other Arsenal player can match.

And while the north London team have won just one of those five games, compared to six wins in 12 league games without him, Arteta admitted that Arsenal have lost the midfielder’s presence.

“We really haven’t seen the impact it could have on the team. We obviously miss it. I think it will be a huge advantage if we can keep it fit,” he said.

“When you are injured, you feel first of all the responsibility when the club has made the effort we did to sign him.

“He was so willing for months to join us. He really wants to be a part of this and knows how much he can help.

“Then he had to deal with the injuries, with the blockage and moving to a new place, and that has been difficult for him.

“That’s why sometimes he was in a hurry and wanted to do everything right away, because he’s so willing to go back that he doesn’t want to be home alone.

“He’s in a really good place, he’s very well established in the locker room, around the staff. He’s a special character and I hope we can finally see him on the field.”

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