Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that midfielder Thomas Partey wanted to be involved with Arsenal straight away after Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations exit.
Partey returned to London on Thursday at midday, 48 hours after Ghana were eliminated from the AFCON in Cameroon when they lost to debutants Comoros in Group C on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old was named amongst the substitutes for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semifinal second leg tie against Liverpool. He was introduced with a quarter of an hour to go and was sent off for two bookable offences.
“He landed at midday and came straight to the hotel and he wanted to be there on the bench to help,” Arteta said ahead of the game.
“He shows his commitment. He was disappointed to go out of the AFCON, and straight away he said I want to be involved.”
It is unfortunate for the former Atletico Madrid player given that Arsenal lost 2-0 to Liverpool bowing out of the Carabao Cup, adding to his national team pain of exiting the AFCON early.
Partey will now miss Arsenal’s Premier League encounter with Burnley on Sunday.
When asked whether it was necessary to play him given his disappointment, tiredness and fatigue, Arteta insisted they had to.
“I do not regret, but I cannot use him now. It is what it is. He made the effort to come. We had to play him,” Arteta told Sky Sports after the game before adding.
“Emile [Smith Rowe] has not had one single training session, Martin [Odegaard]as well, Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] had a yellow card. We had to make a decision, and we decided to use him, and unfortunately, that happened,” he added.
The Spanish tactician also doesn’t believe that fatigue had a role to play in Partey’s red card.