June 18, 2021

Partey opens up on ‘difficult’ Arsenal start and reveals the two games he’s played at 100 per cent

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The Gunners midfielder has made just 11 starts since moving from Atletico Madrid in the summer

Thomas Partey believes Arsenal have only seen him at 100 per cent on two occasions since he arrived in England.

The Ghana international joined on the final day of the summer transfer window in a £45 million ($58m) deal from Atletico Madrid.

But Partey has suffered a string of injuries since he arrived which have limited him to just 16 appearances so far in all competitions and only 11 starts, and the 27-year-old admits that he has only felt at his very best twice since making the move from Spain six months ago.

What has been said?

When asked, ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 first-leg tie against Olympiacos, whether Arsenal have seen him at 100 per cent yet, the Gunners midfielder said: “Yes, I had a few games.

“I think against [Manchester] United at their home and against Wolves [away] also I was able to show what I can do.

“Due to less games and less training I think I have to keep working, keep trying to get back to that level again.”

Why has Partey struggled with injuries?

The Arsenal midfielder believes his absences this season have been down to adjusting to the demands of the Premier League and admits it has not been easy at times since moving from Madrid.

“It was a difficult moment to get used to how the team play,” he said.

“It’s part of the game. You never know when you are going to be injured. I do all of my work and I try to make sure I’m not before any game.

“I think the injuries are part of the adaptation. Now I feel good, I’m doing all the necessary work to be more fit and play more games.

“I still have more time, I’m doing my best to get my level of competition and I think everything will be fine and I will be able to show what I can do.”

The importance of the Europa League

Since returning from his last injury absence, Partey has featured in each of Arsenal’s last three games and started for the first time against Burnley at the weekend.

He looks certain to start again against Olympiacos on Thursday night and says that winning the Europa League is vital so that Arsenal can return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.

“We know it is a club that is supposed to be in the Champions League,” he said.

“It is a bad situation that we are in now, but it depends on us. We are the ones playing, we have this opportunity. Before we can get to where we want, we have to try and be able to win all the games.

“It [the Champions League] is very important. It attracts a lot of good players, it shows your profile also to the world, what you can do outside of the league.

“And I think it is very important for the club, for the supporters, for all the people that are in the club – because this club belongs to the Champions League. We have to do our best, all that we can, to fight to get where we want.”

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