Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney could both be available for Arsenal at Manchester City this Saturday (Watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
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Mikel Arteta has spoken glowingly about the buzz new signing Thomas Partey has created, as the Ghana international arrived on transfer deadline day from Atletico Madrid for $58.8 million.
“Today he will have his first training session. He will need to go quickly. He wants to play. We will see [on Saturday]. You see players adapting really quickly and others taking a long time,” Arteta said. “I’ve seen the buzz around the place. The fans are really happy, I’ve seen some really positive reactions. The same with the team and staff. We have rated him for a long time.”
On Kieran Tierney, Arteta revealed that the Scotsman could be available to play but more clarification is needed over the rules after he was forced to miss Scotland’s game due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
Tierney’s Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for COVID-19 and although Tierney tested negative, the health authorities in Scotland required him to self-isolate as the Arsenal left back, plus Celtic’s Ryan Christie and two members of the medical staff, were said to be in close contact with Armstrong.
“This is getting very complicated when we send players abroad and lose control. Some authorities have different regulations to the ones in the Premier League,” Arteta said. “We are still having some discussions and hopefully we will have more news this afternoon.”
This game against Manchester City is a great chance for Arteta to show just how much progressing he is making with Arsenal. They beat Man City 2-1 in the FA Cup semifinal over the summer on their way to winning the competition.
With Partey arriving to shore up central midfield, plus Gabriel looking solid at center back and Willian adding experience to their attack, the summer additions that Arteta has made look the part. Signing Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to new contracts and extending Dani Ceballos’ loan deal helped too.
If Tierney is available he could play as a left-sided center back in a 3-4-3 formation, while Partey will likely line up alongside Ceballos or Xhaka in central midfield.
This Arsenal side look robust and savvy under Arteta and along with their undoubted scoring ability, they are sure to frustrate and hassle Man City. Arteta (Man City’s assistant boss less than a year ago) knows exactly how Pep Guardiola operates and this will be an intriguing tactical battle.
As for Man City, they will be hoping Kevin de Bruyne is fit to play and that Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake can all help improve his team defensively as they struggle up top without the injured duo of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero.