Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta puts money on Jorginho
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is still an injury doubt after feeling discomfort in his ribs in his last game but has not been ruled out of action yet, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday.
Partey came off at halftime during Arsenal’s FA Cup loss at Manchester City last week and Arteta had said at the time that he needed to undergo MRI scans after the Ghanaian revealed he could not continue. “Let’s see, that one is still a doubt. We will make a decision on that,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Everton.
“He’s not ruled out and it’s nothing very significant but it was significant enough to get him out of the game, which for Thomas is a bit unusual but hopefully he’ll be fine.”
With Mohamed Elneny also ruled out — potentially for the rest of the season — after undergoing knee surgery, Arsenal were forced to act in the transfer market and signed Jorginho from London rivals Chelsea on deadline day.
“We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and ready for the inconvenience,” Arteta said.
“We had a big one with Mo’s injury and we needed a player in that position. It’s a player that I’ve always admired.
“His intelligence, his personality and leadership skill, he understands our way of playing. He fits really well with what I want to do. You have to adapt to the circumstances you have and now we have improved the squad.”
Arsenal have not won away at Goodison Park since 2017 and Arteta said he expects a tough test after Everton appointed Sean Dyche as their new manager.
“We have the experience in the last few years, how tough it’s been and we didn’t get the result we wanted. When it’s a new manager the environment will change, a lot of things change,” Arteta said.
“We haven’t won there the past few years, so that’s the test tomorrow.”
Gabriel Martinelli’s longterm contract extension was also announced on Friday and Arteta said it was part of a concerted effort to tie down the young players who have impressed in the title run, including Bukayo Saka and William Saliba.
“Part of the plan is obviously to extend the contracts of our biggest talents and we are trying to do that. The others will be done whenever we can, if we can agree on that,” he said.
Pep clears air
Bayern Munich’s deadline day capture of Manchester City full back Joao Cancelo had fans scratching their heads but manager Pep Guardiola said he was allowed to leave the Premier League champions in search of more game time at the German club.
Cancelo, a two-time league winner with City who was selected twice in the Premier League Team of the Year, moved to Bayern on an initial loan deal and the Bundesliga side can sign the 28-year-old permanently in the summer.
The Portugal international lost his place in City’s starting lineup after the World Cup but brushed aside reports of a breakdown with Guardiola, who said he was happy with his squad even though Cancelo’s departure leaves them light at the back.
“Next season, I don’t know what happens. (He was) an incredible figure in the last two leagues we won. After the World Cup, we had a pre-season and decided to play, in some patterns, different,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“I liked what I watched. I gave more time to other players. His personality is he loves to play. He trains the best (but) the situation is he doesn’t play much.
“He needs to play to be happy, we decided to let him go to Munich. If Bayern Munich want Joao it’s because he’s an exceptional player. I won’t say a bad word.”
Guardiola said he had a chat with the club’s director of football Txiki Begiristain about a possible replacement on deadline day but opted to wait a few months so they could potentially invest in the summer instead.