Mikel Arteta makes admission about Thomas Partey at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has his say on the way Thomas Partey has been adapting to life at Arsenal since his big-money move
Mikel Arteta has accepted that Thomas Partey’s transfer fee is adding to the pressure on the Arsenal midfielder.
The Ghana international has been settling into life at the north London club after having signed for the Gunners from Atletico Madrid on deadline day in the summer transfer window.
Arsenal are believed to have paid a transfer fee of around £45m to land the 27-year-old midfielder as Arteta moved to strengthen his options at the club.
Partey has struggled with a string of injury problems that have prevented him from holding down a regular spot in the first team at The Emirates.
Arteta accepts that the transfer fee Arsenal paid to bring him to the club is probably weighing on his shoulders, but he is backing the midfielder to come good in the forthcoming weeks and months.
Asked about Partey and the expectation that surrounds him as a big-money signing, Arteta replied: “He knows how much he cost and that adds a bit of pressure.
“When you are not able to play you want to hurry up and do everything quicker, and show everybody how good you are and have a big impact on the team.
“That creates some anxiety for sure. Then the physical aspect, when you look at the outputs he needs to put in when he was playing in Spain or now, are pretty different.”
Partey is currently sidelined with a muscular injury, and Arteta continued: “Hopefully we can still see Thomas back and playing at the level he can do.
“Last time we gave him more time to recover and he came back in good shape, but he was not fit enough to sustain that for 90 minutes.
“That is why we kept subbing him and trying to protect him. I think he has played 90 only once since coming back from injury.
“Now we have to protect him, make sure that he is fit and ready to come back as soon as possible – but knowing that we need the player long term as well.”
Arsenal will return to Europa League action on Thursday night when they take on Benfica in the first leg of their round of 32 clash.