·15 September 2023
·15 September 2023
Mikel Arteta revealed that Thomas Partey is a “few weeks” away from returning from injury and is also optimistic about Martin Ødegaard’s ongoing contract negotiations with the club.
The Spaniard has been forced to tinker with his starting XI following the injury that Partey picked up prior to the Gunners’ last game against Manchester United. The Ghanaian midfielder was deployed at right-back for the opening three games of the season and Arteta has revealed he still has a way to go before he can return.
“He’s still a few weeks away. He’s got a muscle injury. He’s progressing well, but he’s still a few weeks away,” Arteta said.
When asked about the fitness of Bukayo Saka, Arteta confirmed that he “trained normally today so there’s nothing to report there.”
Arsenal fans were given further optimism when Arteta spoke about the ongoing negotiations the club are having with captain Martin Ødegaard, who is reportedly close to signing a deal.
“He is our captain, he is a massive player for us,” Arteta said.
“Really important player for now and the future. We are extremely happy to have him, and we want to keep him here for a long time.
“We are really close with him and his agent. Whenever that is confirmed, we will announce it.”
With a Sunday trip to Goodison Park next on the agenda for Arsenal, Arteta was asked about his feelings around his former club Everton, and his view on the predicament the club currently finds themselves in as they sit on a point after four games.
When asked does the situation upset him, Arteta explained: “Yeah, but that’s the history of football clubs.
“The challenge we have today is the competition. The project that they have there with the new stadium and everything they’re trying to do is very exciting.
“But like everybody you go through tough times. It is how you overcome those situations to be better.”
Despite the heartfelt reflection on his former club, feelings will be put aside once the whistle sounds on Sunday.
“There is a big emotional attachment to that football club for the years I spent there, the memories that I have, so I am always grateful,” Arteta added.
“It was a big, big part of my playing career and now as I coach, I have to go there, and I want to beat them.”