Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal have been missing Thomas Partey’s “aura” and “presence” following his fine display in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday night.
Partey had been out of action for the last few weeks due to a thigh injury but he returned to the starting line-up for the visit of the Magpies this week.
The 27-year-old produced a brilliant performance in the middle of the park for the Gunners as he laid on an assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to net the opener in the second half.
The Ghana international will now be hoping to keep his fitness levels up and hold down a regular spot in the Arsenal team in the coming weeks and months.
Arteta has been delighted by what he has seen from the summer signing recently and he feels that his return to the Gunners team will give his side a much-needed boost.
Speaking after Monday’s win, Arteta said: “We have been missing Tommy and he has this presence, this aura, that makes him a special player for us.
“Hopefully we can keep him fit because we can all see the difference he makes on the side and I think he was growing and getting better and better as the game was growing and evolving.
“Yes, he can [have more attacking freedom here than at Atletico Madrid], technically he is more than capable of doing that and he’s great in both transitional moments as well.
“It will take him some time to understand a different way of thinking or doing [things] than what he was doing with the previous team he was involved in. He has all the characteristics that we need to make us better, that’s for sure.
“His dynamism, his physicality, his creativity and the presence that nature has given him. You have that person on the pitch and you are able to dominate a game when it is needed and Thomas has this quality.”
Arsenal have now won four of their last five games in the Premier League as they look to get themselves back into the hunt for a European spot.
The Gunners will return to Premier League action on Tuesday night with a trip to Southampton.
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