ARSENAL have gone to desperate measures to stop Thomas Partey picking up injury on international duty.
The midfielder has set off to Ghana ahead of his country’s double header against Angola in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
But Gunners fans will be praying the 29-year-old can keep his nose clean ahead of their final push for the title.
When club football resumes, Arsenal could be just 10 games away from winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
But they will need midfield general Partey fit with injuries a frequent issue since he arrived at the Emirates in 2020.
As a result, the club have dispatched club physiotherapist Simon Murphy to Africa to keep tabs on the Ghanian.
It is an unusual step for a club to take but Arsenal will hope that Murphy’s presence can help keep Partey fit for April 1, when the side host Leeds after the international break is over.
Partey is widely seen as one of the side’s most influential players and two of the Gunners’ three league losses this season have come when he has not been on the pitch
He was also out with injury in the final nine games of last season when Arsenal collapsed and lost out on a Champions League to north London rivals Tottenham.
The former Atletico Madrid man has formed a solid and impressive partnership with Granit Xhaka at the base of Arsenal’s midfield this season.
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Former Newcastle and Brighton manager Chris Hughton, who took over as Ghana boss last month, explained what Partey’s role will be with his international side.
He said: “Partey’s role in the team is as a continuity player, he is not that guy who going to dribble past multiple players. His role is important to what the team does even if he doesn’t always stand out.
“Sometimes as football fan we assume a player must necessarily fit the frame we have of him in an A team or in a B team. Partey’s roles at both club and country are different from each other, but key.”
Injuries are already beginning to bite for Arsenal as they head towards the run-in with Takehiro Tomiyasu set to miss the rest of the season while question marks hang over William Saliba.