MIKEL ARTETA has provided an update on Thomas Partey’s injury ahead of Arsenal’s crucial trip to Southampton on Saturday.
The Ghanaian midfielder picked up a hamstring problem in the 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace earlier this month.
And Arteta has now explained that the 28-year-old could follow Kieran Tierney and miss the rest of the season.
Ahead of the trip to St Mary’s, the Gunners’ gaffer said: “Yes, the news that we have received after many reviews is not great.
“It’s not looking very positive for his availability this season but we’ll have to wait and see because he’s trying to come back as soon as possible.
“But we’re not very optimistic at the moment.”
Arsenal go into the game against the Saints after losing their last two Premier League games, with Brighton beating the north Londoners 2-1 last weekend.
A third straight defeat will likely end the club’s hopes of a top-four finish.
The Emirates team could also do without centre-forward Alexandre Lacazette, who was absent from training this week.
Speaking of the Frenchman, Arteta said: “There are private reasons that I can’t comment on but I don’t have any other team news apart from the guys we talked about.”
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His potential departure from the matchday squad could see Eddie Nketiah make his first Premier League start this season.
Here, SunSport takes a look at how Arsenal could line up against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will almost certainly keep his place between the posts with a central defender pairing consisting of Ben White and Gabriel.
Portugal international Cedric Soares is likely to be used at right-back while Takehiro Tomiyasu remains injured on the touchline.
Arteta could then opt to start Granit Xhaka back at left-back in place of Nuno Tavares, with the latter struggling for form.
With Partey unavailable, Albert Sambi Lokonga will likely start at the heart of the pitch, with Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith being used in roles #8.
Bukayo Saka would then play on the right wing while Gabriel Martinelli would start on the opposite flank.
Nketiah would then take on the task of leading the line as he aims to score his first goal in the top flight this season.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5133371/arsenal-line-up-southampton-arteta-partey-lacazette-nketiah/ How Arsenal could take on Southampton with Partey at risk of missing the rest of the season and Arteta desperate to end the rut