Thomas Partey played for 67 minutes against Newcastle. He assisted Aubameyang’s first goal and commanded the midfield on the night.
Mikel Arteta was impressed with the midfielder’s performance and pointed out how much the team missed him.
“Obviously we have been missing Tommy,” he said.“
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.
“He had a big influence, he gave us things that are different to any other player and we have now have to protect him because he’s missed a lot of football in the last couple of months.
“I’m really happy with his performance.”
The structure he provides in midfield is important, and while he might have had a more restricted role in La Liga, Arteta has tipped him to do more from an attacking perspective.
“He can do that,” said the boss. “Technically he is more than capable of doing that and he’s great in both transition 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.”
With more challenging fixtures on the horizon, let’s hope he can stay fit, because our chances in those games are increased if he’s in the side.