Arsenal have £100m duo who can step up for Mikel Arteta after latest injury blow

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta needs two players to step up and continue their title charge following the bad news on Thomas Partey’s injury recovery. Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira must now prove their worth with the Gunners squad now stretched to its limit.

Partey has made just three Premier League starts this season and none since August. The Ghana star initially had a groin injury before picking up a thigh problem upon his return to action.

Arteta said at the time that Partey would be out for a few weeks. But it appears the damage was much worse than first feared by the Arsenal medical staff.

The Mirror claims that Partey will not play again in 2023. The 30-year-old has undergone a medical procedure on the injury to rule him out until January at least.

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Arsenal have 11 matches between now and the end of December and with Emile Smith Rowe also missing with a knee injury, midfield resources are looking thin. Declan Rice and Jorginho both have exceptional fitness records and Arteta will be hoping that stays that way.

But it is unrealistic to think they can both play every minute of every match. Havertz and Vieira combined cost Arsenal just short of £100million and now it is time for them to step up.

Havertz continues to be an enigma for most Arsenal fans. He hasn’t yet been able to prove why Arteta splashed out £65m on him in the summer.

He is yet to register an assist from midfield, while his only goal was from the penalty spot in a 4-0 win at Bournemouth. The 24-year-old appears to be lacking in confidence and has been in and out of the team of late.

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But he could be in for a long run in the side, especially if Martin Odegaard doesn’t return to fitness soon. Arsenal need Havertz to produce, as they do with Vieira.

The Portuguese had a difficult first season in the Premier League following his £34m arrival from Porto. He started this campaign in a promising fashion, registering a couple of early assists to build belief in himself and the fan base.

It hasn’t gone to plan since for Vieira when he has been given the chance in both the league and cup competitions. But Arteta will be hoping he takes his opportunity in the coming weeks.

Havertz and Vieira may rarely start in the same midfield three. But they will both surely get more minutes in the lead-up to Christmas and could play a pivotal part in whether Arsenal are in the title race come January.

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