Arsenal have confirmed that Thomas Partey is continuing to undergo rehabilitation.
Taking on Molde FK with a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League within touching distance, Arsenal’s injury-ravaged squad could see an interesting blend of youth and experience on Thursday, as has been the case throughout the competition.
One of the main talking points ahead of the clash at the Aker Stadion has centred around the fitness of Thomas Partey, who was absent from the draw with Leeds on Sunday but was thought to be available for the trip to Norway.
As per the official Arsenal website, the Ghanian has not travelled with the rest of the squad to continue rehabilitation on a thigh injury sustained in the defeat to Aston Villa.
"“Left thigh. Sustained strain to left thigh during Aston Villa (h) on November 8. Has not travelled to Molde and progressing rehabilitation.”"
No length of time has been placed on his return, a worrying factor as Mikel Arteta‘s side face a tough test at home to Wolves in the Premier League next up and are sorely lacking in progression in the midfield area.
On the other hand, some excellent news has come to light regarding Bukayo Saka, who was brought on during the second half at Elland Road but forced off with what has been described as a ‘dead leg’. While he hasn’t travelled with the squad to Scandinavia, he has been deemed fit for the weekend.
"“Right leg impact. Sustained dead leg during the match at Leeds. Has not travelled to Molde but will be available for Sunday’s match against Wolves.”"
Contrasting news, indeed, but positive on the whole.
Saka’s injury appeared more impact than anything else and a long-term absence wasn’t expected, but given the number of minutes he’s played over the past few weeks, fears were elevated. Partey is a concern, though.
Elsewhere, both Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac are unavailable to face Molde, expected news after the pair contracted COVID-19 while away on international duty. David Luiz has also linked up with the squad, while Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli remain short of full fitness.
Kieran Tierney can earn a well-deserved rest at left-back while the midfield woes are eased with Elneny’s return. A midfield trio of Granit Xhaka or Dani Ceballos with Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe either side could be on the cards.