Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta offered two reasons why summer recruit Thomas Partey hasn’t hit the ground running at the Emirates.
The £45m man was touted as the solution to the club’s long-standing issues in the engine room.
Glimpses of his dynamic midfield talents have been seen, but persistent injuries have ensured the best is yet to come.
Now, Arteta has offered an explanation as to why Partey’s best remains in his locker, the first of which is the pressure of his hefty price tag.
“He knows how much he cost and that adds a bit of pressure,” said Arteta (via Goal).
The second – more predictably – has been from the lack of rhythm he’s been able to develop through his injury struggles.
“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,” added the Spaniard.
“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.”
“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, Man City monitoring Real teen
Meanwhile, Reports in Spain claim Manchester City and Arsenal are monitoring the situation of talented Real Madrid teenager Bruno Iglesias.
The 17-year-old has been turning heads ever since he joined Real’s youth academy from Santa Marta in 2015. He has played for the Under-17 and Under-19 sides, with reports he is close to the Castilla squad.
The young midfielder is highly rated in Spain and at the Bernabeu. But, with his contract due to expire in the summer of 2023, other clubs have taken note.
Real Madrid-focused outlet Defensa Central suggests that interest from England comes from City and the Gunners. It is said the duo have been scouting him for some time.