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October 20, 2020

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Thomas Partey spotted with first team squad in Manchester ahead of Arsenal debut

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Thomas Partey is in line to make his Arsenal debut against Manchester City (Picture: Eamonn and James Clarke)

Thomas Partey is in line to make his Arsenal debut on Saturday after he travelled with the rest of the squad to Manchester on Friday night.

The 27-year-old joined the Gunners on a frantic transfer deadline day after the Gunners opted to trigger the £45million release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.

Partey spent the subsequent 10 days away on international duty and played twice for Ghana before belatedly joining up with his new team-mates, only taking part in his first full training session on Friday.

Arteta is conscious of the need to be patient with the most expensive signing of his Arsenal reign to date, but is confident the versatile midfielder can open up a number of exciting new tactical options for his team.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, he said: ‘Thomas is going to give us more versatility in our way of playing.

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‘He can play in two or three different positions when we are able to change formations or game plans against opponents. He will give us something that at the moment we don’t have in the team.

‘We need a balance between the young players we have in breakthrough or development phases and others that are at the peak or twilight of their careers.

‘Thomas is the right recruit for us in terms of age, his history and career, where he has been educated, the amount of experience he has and the quality that he has to adapt to our game.’

Arsenal had, meanwhile, been confident that left-back Kieran Tierney would be available to play lobbied the Scottish FA in a bid to cut short his 14-day period of self isolation.

Tierney was required to quarantine for two weeks from last Tuesday after he was deemed to have been in close contact with Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for Covid-19, while on Scotland duty.

The former Celtic star, however, was not pictured among a group of players who were photographed arriving at the team hotel in Manchester last night.

MORE: Micah Richards issues word of warning to Mikel Arteta and questions Arsenal summer signing Gabriel

MORE: Dimitar Berbatov’s Premier League predictions, including Man City vs Arsenal & Everton vs Liverpool

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