HomeArsenal: Partey set to return for Sheffield United clash

Arsenal: Partey set to return for Sheffield United clash

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Arsenal could have Thomas Partey back in the squad for Monday night’s trip to relegation-threatened Sheffield United but Jurrien Timber is still not ready to return.

Partey has played just 15 minutes since August due to a series of injuries – the most recent of which being a thigh problem – but is likely to be in the squad for the clash at Bramall Lane.

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Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “Thomas had a session before the last game and he’s now had three consecutive sessions. He should be part of the squad for Monday.”

Gabriel Jesus is also in contention although he is yet to fully get over a knee injury that has disrupted his season.

Arteta added: “Gabriel is fit enough. How long he will last, that’s very different. We didn’t want to take any risks. We need him fit and now we want to make sure we load him in the right way.”

Arsenal sit third in the Premier League – two points behind leaders Liverpool and one adrift of Manchester City – and they could be about to welcome back summer signing Timber who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in the opening-day win over Nottingham Forest.

The Netherlands international won’t be fit to face the Blades but is expected back in the next fortnight.

Arteta said: “Jurrien is still not close enough. He has been a joy. The medical staff and physios are happy with his attitude and the way things have gone. The way he applies himself. He is determined and willing to put every effort in.

“He’s in a really good place and now we have to manage the last bit of a difficult and complicated injury. We have missed his leadership, his versatility to play in different positions, the spaces he can occupy. He’s been a big miss.”

Arsenal have won six successive Premier League games and will head north in confident mood. Arteta, however, remains wary of a Sheffield United side that have mustered just 13 points all season.

“They are a really difficult team to beat,” said the Spaniard. “I watched four or five [of their] games now. They are extremely well coached. I know Chris [Wilder] really well and I admire his teams and what they do. It will be a tough match.”

Wilder’s men seem set to make an immediate return to the Championship, despite Arteta’s caution.

“I imagine it’s tough for them and their ambitions are different,” Arteta said. 

“I imagine when you are there [the relegation zone] you really want to get out of it as quick as possible. We have a lot to play for as well and this is a big game for us.

“With every team we look at the weaknesses and the strengths. I know that team really well. I analysed them closely a few years ago, what Chris did, and I learned from his teams.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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