Thomas Partey went off to AFCON this month with high hopes for a strong tournament with Ghana, but the event came to a shockingly early end as they were eliminated at the group stage.
Partey played every minute for Ghana, and he set up two of their three goals across the three games. But they slipped to defeats to Morocco and Comoros, drawing against Gabon for their only point of the event.
From an Arsenal point of view, the fans are hoping to get Partey back to England and involved in matches as soon as possible.
Charles Watts reports that Arsenal could potentially have the midfielder back for this weekend’s game against Burnley.
On that topic, Mikel Arteta stayed tight-lipped, but he did suggest Arsenal were hoping to have Partey back involved soon.
“Well, they [Ghana] played last night,” Arteta said. “It was a huge disappointment for Thomas obviously because he was representing his country and in this period he had big aims towards the competition.
“He’s out now so he will be fully focused and involved with Arsenal as soon as possible.”
It’s a real shame for Partey to exit the competition at this stage, and there are no guarantees of a significant benefit to Arsenal.
After all, there aren’t any Arsenal fixtures planned between January 24th and February 10th, so the Burnley game this weekend is really the only one Partey might be unexpectedly available for.
But with the way the midfielder was playing before leaving, his individual performances at the tournament, and the fact Granit Xhaka is suspended, his presence could make a big difference for the Burnley clash.
Partey provided his first assist of the tournament against Gabon, playing a pass through the lines for Andre Ayew to fire home from range. You can watch that goal here from 0:07.
After that, Partey assisted Alexander Djiku’s equaliser against Comoros, heading on a corner for the defender to tap in. You can watch that here from 1:35.