Thomas Partey is back in training in a bid to get fit for Arsenal’s match against rivals Tottenham this weekend. Mikel Arteta confirmed the news speaking after his side’s 4-1 Europa League win over Rapid Vienna.
Partey, the Gunners’ £45m summer signing, has been out of action for almost a month after sustaining a thigh problem in Arsenal’s 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in November.
The midfielder, signed from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day, had made just five appearances for his new side before succumbing to the injury.
However, Partey, 27, had already impressed for Arsenal in their 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the previous game.
Arteta’s team have since failed to win in the league in his absence but look set to welcome the player back sooner rather than later according to his manager.
Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring with a stunning long-range strike after ten minutes for his fourth goal of the season.
The Gunners were soon doubled their advantage when an unmarked Pablo Mari headed a Reiss Nelson corner beyond Richard Strebinger in the Vienna goal.
Eddie Nketiah made it three before half time finishing off sweeping team passing move at the second attempt after initially being denied by Strebinger.
The visitors pulled a goal back just after the break through Koya Kitagawa but any thoughts of an unlikely comeback were dashed 20 minutes later when Emile Smith-Rowe got on the end of Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ low cross to restore Arsenal’s three-goal advantage.
Arteta is hoping his side can translate this kind of form to the Premier League.
“We’ve been really consistent in this competition I think the boys showed great energy, character and aggression today,” he added. “Right from the beginning you could feel that they were touched from the last defeat and everybody individually played a really good game.
“Again we were in the final third really aggressive with the ball. We created many chances for goals and probably should have scored more.
“Now, let’s take that into Sunday a very special game, we’re all looking forward to it and let’s do it again.”
Fans were welcomed back into the Emirates for the first time since March, and the 2000 strong Gunners faithful were treated to a dominant performance as Arsenal maintained their 100% record in this season’s competition.
Before kick off, the Arsenal players acknowledged the returning supporters with a round of applause.
Arteta was delighted to have fans back in attendance.
“Very special and delighted to have them back,” he beamed. “They made a very big contribution.
We had 2,000 but it felt like a lot more.”