According to Mikel Arteta, who is excited about welcoming back the midfielder when Arsenal faces Crystal Palace on Thursday, Thomas Partey is the ‘unique character’ who raises the standard of those around him.

In October, Arsenal signed Partey from Atlético Madrid for £ 45 million, but due to thigh wounds, he made just six appearances. His only appearance in the past two months came in December’s defeat at Tottenham when he was pulled out halfway through, but he’s fit to return and Arteta hopes this week will mark a fresh start to the Ghanaian’s club career.

“The manager said, “I think he has a different presence—he brings something different to the team. It’s not just about his talent, it’s not just about his physicality, it’s about who he is as a person. He’s making the players around him better and that’s a huge, big quality.

It’s awesome that we’re in January, that we signed it in October, and we only played it [a handful of times]. We haven’t seen the effect he might have on the squad. We’ve missed him… I suppose it’s going to be a huge bonus if we can keep him fit.

In the win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 1 November, Partey made an early impression with an outstanding score. His lack of action has since taken a toll on and off the pitch, complicating both his wider process of settling-in and his incorporation into the side.

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