‘Something clicked’ – Arteta spots signs of resurgence from Arsenal star

Mikel Arteta TEAMtalk

Mikel Arteta has praised the way Thomas Partey has been trying to bounce back after harshly judging himself over his Arsenal career so far.

Back in December, Partey said he would only give himself a rating of 4/10 for his Arsenal career so far. He has sometimes been held back by injuries since joining the club from Atletico Madrid in 2020, but there have been on-field factors too.

Since those comments – and either side of his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations – the Ghana international has been trying to build up his contributions. He recorded his first assist of the season against Brentford last month.

It came within a 90-minute performance, in between two others each against Wolves. Therefore, Partey has been involved fully for all of Arsenal’s last three games.

His manager Arteta has been impressed with Partey’s attitude and believes his form and fitness are benefiting each other in tandem.

He told a press conference (via Football.London): “When you assess yourself the way Thomas did publicly it’s really rare. Probably that day something clicked.

“The fact that he’s been injury free is massive, but he’s probably more fit as well because he’s doing things better.”

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Arriving one year after Partey was defender Ben White. During his debut season at the Emirates Stadium, the former Brighton defender has also been busy.

Arteta acknowledged various reasons why White deserves recognition for how he has settled with the step up.

He said: “I think what he’s done, how quickly he’s adapted, how he’s handled the pressure of the price we paid and what we demand him to do at his age is very impressive.”

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Arsenal are next in action on Sunday, when they make the short trip to Watford. He has no fresh injury updates, but confirmed that Takehiro Tomiyasu remains in doubt.

He confirmed: “Same place as last week. We still have the doubt with Tomiyasu. The rest I think they’re all there.”

Going into the weekend’s fixtures, Arsenal are in sixth place. However, they have several games in hand over the sides above them. Therefore, optimism is growing about the club returning to the top four.

Asked if they are the favourites to finish there – and what that means – Arteta replied: “I think it’s positive because that’s where we want to be playing.

“The reality is we are not fourth but sixth still. We know what we have to do and the only aim is to win against Watford.”

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