Thomas Partey might be out for some time from the same injury that kept him out for about a month. Mikel Arteta fears the midfielder has suffered a recurrence of the thigh injury.
Partey was surprisingly included in the starting xi for the NLD. But the decision proved costly as he was substituted before half time due to an injury setback.
The press asked if it was the same thigh injury, Arteta told the BBC:
“It looks like that, yeah. It looks like it.
“I don’t know [how long he’ll be out]. We’ll have to do the MRI and see the extent of the injury. At the moment it’s difficult to say.”
In his post-game press conference, he added: “I haven’t seen the action repeated. But it is an injury and it is in the same area unfortunately. We don’t know how bad it is.
“I was trying to push him [back on the pitch] but I don’t think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position but that was probably because he was in a lot of pain. It’s nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that.”
Partey could miss up to eight games if sidelined for a month. However, there are fears that it could even be worse.
Arteta was also asked whether Partey should have reacted to the injury in the manner he did. The midfielder, rather than go down on the pitch, limped to the sidelines vacating his position.
“It was too quick,” said the boss. “We were through and I think it was a four against three situation for us to play the final ball and we were through.
“Suddenly, they are coming to attack us and Thomas is walking to me and I was trying to push him. I haven’t spoken to him so I don’t know exactly how it happened or if he felt something really serious. I will look at it and we will talk about it.”
Arteta again repeats his desire to keep going and find a way to turn our season around.
“I’m going to keep fighting. The team is going to keep fighting. You saw the spirit and the desire and the way we played…under the circumstances, any other team would come here and play with low confidence, we didn’t do that.
“We conceded that goal [Son’s] in those circumstances but we kept going. The second one. We kept going. And we’re going to keep going and I’m going to keep going. It’s how I am, it’s how this team is built.
“But we have to know that without goals, we cannot win games. At the moment, we’re not scoring goals so it doesn’t matter what we do. Without scoring goals we cannot improve that situation.”