Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he is unsure whether Thomas Partey will make his debut in Saturday’s clash with Manchester City.
The midfielder is ready and waiting for his debut after signing for the Gunners on deadline day last week.
However Arteta revealed in his latest press conference that it was only the 26-year-old’s first day as an Arsenal player on Wednesday.
What’s more, after representing Ghana during the international break, the Spanish boss remains wary about handing Partey his debut at the Etihad Stadium.
Nevertheless, with Partey signing during the season, Arteta feels he must be willing to get up to speed quickly.
“He was here just yesterday, getting familiar with everything around the club,” Arteta told reporters. “Today he will have his first training session. Everything has to come really quickly for him.
“We knew that before we signed him. But he’s fit, he’s very willing to start playing. We will see how he goes in the next few days.”
Partey‘s £45million arrival was a major coup for Arsenal, whose owner – Stan Kroenke – proved vital in funding the deal.
Asked if fans should be hopeful of seeing Partey in a tough duel with City star Kevin de Bruyne, Arteta said: “Let’s see, he needs to put a training session today and see how he goes in the next 48 hours.
“Then we will make a decision on whether he plays or not.”
Arteta welcomes Partey ‘buzz’
Partey’s £45million arrival was a major coup for Arsenal, whose owner – Stan Kroenke – proved vital in funding the move.
But Arteta says the deadline day rush was worth it, given the reaction it has produced around the club.
“I’ve seen the buzz around the place. The fans are really happy, I’ve seen some really positive reactions after we brought him,” he said.
“The same with the team and staff. We have rated him for a long time. We have managed to bring him in. He’s going to be a really important addition to the team.”
Arteta hopeful of Tierney availability
Meanwhile, Arteta said he hopes to have Kieran Tierney available for Saturday’s crunch match.
The left-back is in self-isolation after Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19. Tierney has since returned a negative result, though, and says he has followed the guidelines.
Arteta said: “We are still having some discussions with the authorities. This is getting very complicated when you are sending players abroad and obviously you lose control.
“Some authorities have different regulations to the actual ones in the Premier League.”