Every word Mikel Arteta said on Partey’s return, Mustafi’s transfer and top four credentials

Thomas Partey has only played the full 90 twice, did you see enough in those appearances to see that he could change the dynamic of the team and the way you play as a group?

Absolutely and because obviously we are able to watch him in training. And who he is as well. I think he’s got a different presence. I think he brings something different to the team. It’s not just about his talent it’s not, about his physicality, it’s who he is as a person. He makes players better around him and that’s a big quality.

It’s incredible that we are in January, we signed him in the summer and we only played him twice. So, we haven’t really seen the impact that we believe he could have on the team. Obviously, we have missed him. On the other hand we’ve seen players stepping in as well. When that happens they give us some really positive news as well. But I think it’s going to be a big bonus if we can keep him fit.

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It’s obviously a difficult time to move country and move clubs and try and settle in somewhere. Have you had to manage him psychologically as well as his injury and that side of things?

Yes, because when you are injured you feel first of all the responsibility, when the club has made the effort that we made to sign him. He was so willing for months to be joining us. He really wants to be a part, he knows how much he can help. And then he had to deal with the injuries and the lockdown and moving into a new place, and that’s been tough for him.

That’s why sometimes he was rushing and he wanted to do everything straight away because he’s so willing to come back. He doesn’t want to be alone at home. He’s in a really good place to be fair. He settled really well in the dressing room, around the staff. He’s a special character and hopefully we can see him on the pitch finally.

You mentioned he tested negative for COVID was there a COVID issue…