Arsenal set for Partey injury boost but Saliba status still uncertain
homas Partey is optimistic that he can give Arsenal a boost by being fit to face Leeds on Saturday.
Partey was an unused substitute for Ghana on Monday night during their 1-1 draw in Angola and Black Stars manager Chris Hughton said afterwards that he was struggling with “small injury issues”.
Hughton added that it was too big of a risk to start Partey, but the midfielder is hoping to be involved for Arsenal this weekend as they continue their Premier League title charge. Partey travelled on international duty with Arsenal’s lead performance physio Simon Murphy and will be assessed over the coming days.
The full Arsenal squad are due back at London Colney on Thursday for training after individual players’ returns were staggered following the international break. Those who didn’t travel away with their countries had some time off and did some smaller sessions.
William Saliba was one of those who stayed behind after having to pull out of the France squad with a back injury. The centre-back picked up the problem during Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 second leg defeat to Sporting Lisbon on March 16.
It is unclear if Saliba will play this weekend, with the club assessing the risk of his injury flaring up again. The 22-year-old will hope he can have a key role in the run-in after missing just one League game all season.
Arsenal are currently eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table with 10 games to go and are on course to win a first title since 2004. Bukayo Saka has played a pivotal role in that dream run and the winger continued his fine form over the international break.
Saka scored one and made another as England beat Ukraine 2-0 on Sunday and Saliba isn’t surprised by his team-mate becoming one of the best players in the world.
“You can say already, he is a very, very good player. Even if he is young, he is already a top, top player,” Saliba told Stadium Astro. “I want and I think he will stay like this because he is a good person and he is humble. He doesn’t have a big head.
“He always works and he is a good guy, he’s always happy. It’s a pleasure to play with him. This club is a family and we have to keep going like that.
“Of course, I didn’t know before the summer that we would be on the top [of the League]. But when you play for Arsenal you have to think about the top because it’s a good club. We are happy to be back on the top but we are not finished.”