Arsenal supporters have challenged the club's top management to sign a backup or get a replacement for midfielder Thomas Partey after news emerged he will be ready for pre-season ahead of the new campaign.
The 29-year-old Ghana international endured a frustrating end to the last campaign after he picked up an injury in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on April 4.
His injury was a big blow to the Gunners, who were chasing the Champions League spot and he went ahead to miss the rest of the season. Partey, who joined the Gunners from Atletico Madrid, missed nine matches.
In the end, Arsenal settled for the fifth position, missing out on the Champions League spot and they will now take part in the Europa League next season. Reports have emerged that Partey has recovered from the injury and will be fit for pre-season training but his return has received mixed reactions from fans on social media.
“This one needs a good back-up, he’s so injury prone,” Susu Gibson Kapansha Jr. started the debate on a Facebook post by AFTV captioned: “Arsenal midfielder Thomas [Partey] is fully fit and ready for pre-season training, great news.”
Kapansha Jr. added: “And he goes when you need him the most.”
“We still can’t rely on him or trust him as he will be injured again after a few games,” opined John Jon adding: “We need a better and more reliable option,” while Krish Sha wrote: “And one minute into pre-season training, this professional hospital patient will get injured again and be out for six months …”
Giuseppe Bonanno posed a question: “Ready for what?” he said, adding: “I expected him to only play 15 games this season just like he normally does, him and his mate Kieran [Tierney], who will only last for five games.
“Both players need to be sold in this window if we are to move forward as a team.”
“I beg Arsenal with all I have to offload this player,” said Ugochukwu Anya adding: “His services are not needed anymore, please,” while David Holland wrote: “Yeah until he breaks down just before the first game of the season, good player, but we need a direct replacement for him.”
Udeze Chima was categorical that Partey is not reliable alongside Tierney: “After two matches, he will return to injury. Partey and Tierney aren’t reliable,” while Oluyemi Samuel Jasper wrote: “We need a replacement for him ASAP, to avoid unnecessary blunder... He’s a good player but not strong enough.”
Rodric Muwuya opined: “Partey is the type of player, who gets fit and plays very good on pre-season then gets another big injury 65 minutes into the Palace game and comes back in January next year,” while Ayoola Adeyemi quipped: “Arsenal should find a replacement for this guy [Partey], too much injury.”
Meanwhile, Tony Edwards described Partey as an asset for Arsenal despite his injury woes: “I have time for Partey,” explained Edwards adding: “He has shown that when he is firing he brings strength to the midfield.
“Yes the concern will be that he has had a lot of injuries and whether he can stay fully fit for longer periods of time, but for me, he is an asset.”
Emmanuel Eseyin wants Partey to stay free of injury for the entire season and blamed the Black Star for Arsenal’s top four miss last season: “He needs to stay fit for a whole season please,” said Eseyin adding: “This is a player, who hardly missed a game for Atletico Madrid, he was a major reason why we lost top four last season.”
Lloyd Everitt described Partey as the best Arsenal player when fit and playing: “Best Arsenal player on the pitch when he plays,” while Kelechi Henry called on the club not to sell Granit Xhaka because Partey may not be fit for the rest of the season: “Please can he stay fit through the majority of the season? Don’t even sell Xhaka.”
Uzoma Tony opined it was time for Arsenal to offload Partey: “This guy is over age, he will have another injury,” wrote Tony adding: “Arsenal should offload him, and sign his back-up now because no time Partey has ever played 10 straight matches since he came to Arsenal.”
“He’s fully fit when we don't need him ...,” claimed Steve Marwa adding: “Anyway I know he’ll be injured even before the league starts... and that makes me doubt his age.”