Mikel Arteta believes Thomas Partey’s injury return will be like a new signing for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta says the return to fitness of Thomas Partey will be like Arsenal signing a new player this January.

The midfielder joined the Gunners in the summer from Atletico Madrid after they paid his €50million release clause.

Partey, however, has been hit by injury since he moved to Arsenal and has made just six appearances so far.

The Ghanaian has been battling with a thigh injury and his return to fitness would be a boost for Arteta.And when asked if it would be like a new signing this month, Arteta said: “Absolutely, we are in January and I think he has played two-and-a-half games. That’s all and he was our main signing.

We’ve been missing him. He brings something different to the team. He’s a player with an enormous talent, but as well someone who can transform the team the way we want.

If we can have him, keep him healthy, I think he will contribute in a real positive way.”

Partey is taking part in some training sessions with Arsenal, who are carefully managing his fitness and return to action.

He could feature against Newcastle in the FA Cup next week, but Arteta has stressed he won’t be rushed back.

He hasn’t trained fully with us, but he has done most part of training the last few days,” he said.

“He is feeling good and we will assess him. He needs another two or three good sessions to see if he is 100 per cent available to play. If that is the case, great news for us.”

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