Ian Wright has claimed that Thomas Partey is Arsenal’s most indispensable player and the Gunners cannot afford to lose him at all for any reason as the season reaches the business end.
The Gunners moved eight points clear of Manchester City with a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, although the Citizens have a game in hand.
The victory over Palace was the Gunner’s final game before the international break.
Arsenal have already lost several players due to injury in the course of the season but have somehow managed to maintain their title charge amidst all of that. Gabriel Jesus’ injury was the most prominent, with the Brazilian suffering a nasty knee injury at the 2022 World Cup and having to undergo surgery that kept him out of action for four months.
However, Eddie Nketiah stepped up in the Brazilian’s absence but the former is also currently nursing an injury of his own at the moment.
Arsenal were recently handed yet another injury blow, with William Saliba out for weeks due to a back injury while Takehiro Tomiyasu is out for the rest of the season.
But for club legend Ian Wright, a certain player is the one that must be protected at all costs.
Wright was asked on The Kelly and Wrighty Show if there is a player the Gunners could not afford to lose to injury, with the the Arsenal legend highlighting Partey.
“There is not a nervousness up until now, but you don’t want to lose someone like Thomas Partey for any amount of time,” Wright said.
“We lost William Saliba. But they seem to have taken the hits up until this point.”
“That’s one thing people criticised Arsenal about and said, “let’s see when you get injuries to your key players” – we’ve had injuries to all of our main players, and still amongst it.”
“It’s now how they finish off with the pressure that is going to ramp up for these last games with the injuries that may come.”
Partey has formed an important partnership with Granit Xhaka in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield this season, having starred in 23 of their 28 matches.
Partey has missed five Arsenal matches in the Premier League through injury this season. Coincidentally, the Gunners suffered two of their three defeats in his absence.
Arsenal were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United in September, while they lost by the same scoreline in his absence against City in February.
Partey was also substituted a minute before the Gunners conceded in a 1-0 loss to Everton in February.