Mikel Arteta provides Thomas Partey's fitness update ahead of Benfica tie 

Mikel Arteta provides Thomas Partey's fitness update ahead of Benfica tie 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media today ahead of his side's return leg tie against Benfica on Thursday in the Europa League last 32 encounter. 

Arsenal face a trip to Athens as they target to advance to the last 16 after they settled for a 1-1 draw in the first leg. 

Arteta provided an update on Thomas Partey revealed the midfielder is closing in on a return as he faces the final test later today. Defender Rob Holding is set to miss out on the trip to Athens due to a concussion. 

"Thomas is very close. He's got a final test today in training. If he's feeling good, he will be available to play the match," he told the media on Wednesday. 

"Regarding Rob, he's not available. He had a concussion, we tested him and he's completely fine but obviously, now we need to follow the protocols and he won't be able to travel," he added. 

On Bukayo Saka's importance

"His form in recent months shows that he's a very important player for us. I think he's getting better and better, his performance levels have been really consistent, so that makes him for sure one of the most important players in recent months."


It is very unusual but he's been doing a lot of unusual things. He's dealing with things at his age in a very unusual way, but that's why he's showing what he's showing because his maturity is above his age and so is his intelligence as well.

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