Arteta hopes Partey can play a part at Leicester

Thomas Partey shoots at goal

Mikel Arteta has indicated that Thomas Partey could be fit for Saturday’s game against Leicester City.

The Ghanaian has sat out our recent matches against Manchester City and Aston Villa after picking up a muscle injury, but the boss has indicated that should he come through our final training session ahead of our trip to the King Power Stadium, he may play a part.

When discussing team news in his pre-match press conference, Mikel said: "The question mark is on Thomas. He hasn’t trained much but it looks like he could be available, so let’s see how he trains today.

“He’s a really important player for us, who we missed in the last few games. Hopefully he can be available.”

One player who is not yet ready is Gabriel Jesus, who is still recuperating from the knee surgery he required following the World Cup. However, the good news is he is back in light training on the London Colney pitches, and Mikel revealed the striker is doing everything in his power to accelerate his return.

“He’s progressing really well,” he said. “He’s doing more and more on the field and he’s not reacting [negatively], so that’s really positive. 

“We want to have him as quickly as possible but also respect the timeframe we got from the doctor and the specialists. He’s really pushing the boundaries right now.”

Another member of our squad who won’t feature against the Foxes is Mohamed Elneny, but was handed a new contract this week while he recovers from his own knee issues.

Mikel feels that it is important that we stood by our longest-serving player after the commitment he has shown us during the past seven years, and help him regain full fitness.

“It’s totally deserved,” he added. “It’s an absolute joy to have him at the club, and I think what the club has done is absolutely brilliant. It’s not just words saying we value the people we have, and we’re going to stick with people in difficult moments. 

“Mo had a very difficult moment a few weeks ago when he had a pretty serious injury, and the club committed to him for what he gives to the team and what he’s done for this football club. I think it’s a really strong message for everyone at the club to keep our best people and our best players with us in challenging moments.”

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