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Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey looks set to play some part in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham after taking part in the Gunners’ final pre-match training session.
The summer signing from Atletico Madrid has not featured for the north Londoners since he picked up a thigh injury in the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa last month.
There were fears he could be sidelined for several more weeks, but Mikel Arteta intimated this week that he was cautiously optimistic Partey might return sooner than expected.
Now the 27-year-old has been spotted taking part in first-team training with the rest of the squad on Saturday and is in contention to be in the matchday squad for the trip to Spurs.
Arsenal released a batch of training photos from their final session on Saturday and Partey initially appeared not to have taken part, but eagle-eyed fans spotted him in the background of a shot showing Joe Willock and Dani Ceballos competing for the ball.
After a month out with a muscle injury, it is very unlikely that Partey will be able to start the derby, but his return – even if only for a short cameo off the bench late in the game – will boost Mikel Arteta’s options. Thomas Partey spotted in Arsenal training:
Asked for an update on Partey’s fitness after Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna in the Europa League, Arteta said: ‘He’s putting a lot of pressure on us. ‘He’s training [on Friday] with us and let’s see how it goes in the next couple of days.’
One player who appeared to miss Saturday’s session was centre-back David Luiz, who was not pictured in any of the shots after his horrendous clash of heads with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez.
Speaking about the Brazilian earlier this week, Arteta said: ‘I think he will be fit to play if the scar is healing properly and he’s comfortable heading the ball there shouldn’t be any problems.’