Arsenal star swayed Arteta into snubbing potential debut for rising starlets

Tim Akinola, Brian Galach, Crawley Town Under-21 v Arsenal Under-21, October 2021

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey’s request to play saw two rising starlets miss the chance to make their debuts last month, a report has claimed.

Partey ranks as one of Mikel Arteta’s most expensive signings as manager at £45million. However, due to injury problems, he has struggled to truly settle into the team.

In fact, the Ghana international missed the first five games of this season because of an ankle injury.

He only returned for the recent 1-0 win over Norwich, but his comeback has coincided with Arsenal’s good form.

Partey consequently featured in a Carabao Cup win over Wimbledon in September. According to Football London, though, his desire to play saw two youngsters denied the chance to make the matchday squad.

Highly-rated midfielder Charlie Patino, 17, missed the chance to make his first appearance. Tim Akinola did too and the pair must now wait to make their debuts.

Partey played an hour of the match at the Emirates Stadium, which the Gunners won 3-0.

The report adds, though, that Arsenal are making moves to keep Akinola at the club.

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The 20-year-old has trained with the first team this term following a regular role with the Under-23s last term. However, as it stands, his contract expires next summer.

As such, Arsenal plan to trigger an option in Akinola’s deal that will make sure it does not expire next summer.

The north London club have always had a reputation for developing youth and Arteta’s team is a solid reflection of that.

England international Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have become key parts of the attack.

Ramsdale hailed for Arsenal improvement

Aaron Ramsdale clapping after Arsenal beat Tottenham

Another of Arteta’s signings is goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. The 23-year-old arrived from Sheffield United this summer and has replaced Bernd Leno as the number one.

Indeed, his Premier League debut for the Gunners came in the win over Norwich.

Since then – and including that game – he has helped to keep three clean sheets in four games.

According to one pundit, the England hopeful possesses a trait which he “never saw” from Leno.


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