Focus on Thomas Partey injury : Liverpool were humbled in yesterday’s derby at Old Trafford as Manchester United pulled off a shock 2-1 win to move above the Reds in the table and claim their first win of the season.
Arsenal watched on knowing that any result would be positive for their aims of the campaign.
What was obvious is the absence of both Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho, for the first half before being brought on at the break, leading to a serious loss in the middle third. Arsenal’s midfield has been excellent so far this season by comparison.
Arsenal player Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard have shone as a group and contributed to the nine goals scored in the opening three wins.
However, Liverpool’s predicament sends a message, or at least it should, to technical director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta.
Losing Thiago and Fabinho has such a monumental impact on the effectiveness of this Liverpool side. The same was seen by Arsenal when Partey was unavailable through injury.
Elneny not as good as Partey
Whilst Mohamed Elneny offered a good level of cover when Partey was out at the end of last season, and Albert Sambi Lokonga did the same for Granit Xhaka in the first half of the campaign, ultimately over a longer period and multiple competitions there lies questions.
With ambitions of finishing as high up the table as possible, with top four an absolute must to show progression, having competitive player for Xhaka and Partey should be key.
That said, there lies a conflict. Youri Tielemans appears the most likely candidate and I wrote only this morning about the internal battle I have with the potential signing.
If Arsenal make a signing it needs to push the needle of quality forwards and the Belgian, for me, does not start over Xhaka right now and then fills a spot the Gunners could have filled with someone who genuinely does push that needle.
Whilst Arsenal should look at what Liverpool are succumbing to whilst without their key midfielders, they must be careful to not replicate the mistakes of the past and recruit for the sake of recruiting or buy a player that the club could have potentially acquired better than.
Arsenal could add another signing?
Edu and Arteta will ultimately make the decision before the window closes this summer. There are one of three potential outcomes.
Either the club will decide to stick with what it has and play a risky game until at least January.
Or they’ll bring in a Tielemans and hope he can prove critics such as myself wrong, I hope he would for the record, or, and hopefully, a top class player is found although this seems highly unlikely at this stage.
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