To ensure that midfielder Thomas Partey does not pick up an injury while on international duty, Arsenal has taken the unusual step of dispatching club physiotherapist Simon Murphy to Africa to keep tabs on the Ghanaian. Partey has been a key player for Arsenal this season, and the club will need him fit for their final push for the Premier League title. Injuries have been a frequent issue for Partey since he arrived at the Emirates in 2020, and the club is taking no chances with his fitness.
Partey has set off to Ghana ahead of his country’s double header against Angola in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers. He was snapped climbing out of a car in Ghana alongside Arsenal physiotherapist Simon Murphy. Gunners fans will be praying that the 29-year-old can keep his nose clean ahead of their final push for the title. When club football resumes, Arsenal could be just 10 games away from winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
Partey is widely seen as one of the side’s most influential players, and two of the Gunners’ three league losses this season have come when he has not been on the pitch. He was also out with injury in the final nine games of last season when Arsenal collapsed and lost out on a Champions League spot to north London rivals Tottenham. The former Atletico Madrid man has formed a solid and impressive partnership with Granit Xhaka at the base of Arsenal’s midfield this season.
Former Newcastle and Brighton manager Chris Hughton, who took over as Ghana boss last month, explained what Partey’s role will be with his international side. He said: “Partey’s role in the team is as a continuity player, he is not that guy who going to dribble past multiple players. His role is important to what the team does even if he doesn’t always stand out. Sometimes as football fans, we assume a player must necessarily fit the frame we have of him in an A team or in a B team. Partey’s roles at both club and country are different from each other, but key.”
Injuries are already beginning to bite for Arsenal as they head towards the run-in with Takehiro Tomiyasu set to miss the rest of the season while question marks hang over William Saliba. With just 10 games left to play, Arsenal will need all their key players fit and firing if they are to mount a serious challenge for the title.
It is an unusual step for a club to take, but Arsenal will hope that Murphy’s presence can help keep Partey fit for April 1, when the side host Leeds after the international break is over. The Gunners will be hoping that Partey can continue his impressive form and help them secure their first Premier League title in almost two decades.