Ghana manager Chris Hughton left Thomas Partey out of the African Cup of Nations qualifier with Angola on Monday, but says it was just a precautionary move.
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The 29-year-old was not involved in the 1-1 draw, which had Gunners fans worried over the fitness of the influential midfielder.
The Premier League leaders were clearly worried about their man’s fitness on international duty as they sent club physio Simon Murphy with him to Africa to keep tabs on the former Atletico Madrid man.
Whether that has been an influence or not, Partey played in the first of two matches with Angola on Thursday but did not on Monday.
The former Newcastle and Brighton manager Hughton did not sound overly concerned, though, saying that playing Partey was possible, but would have been a risk.
‘Thomas has some small issues,’ said Hughton. ‘We felt it was too big of a risk to start him.’
Arsenal are back in action on Saturday in the Premier League when they host Leeds United and will be hoping that Partey has overcome his ‘small issues’ in time for that contest.
He is a doubt for the clash at this stage, though, along with centre-back William Saliba who is dealing with a back problem, while Takehiro Tomiyasu has been ruled out for the season with a knee issue.
Partey has played in 23 of the Gunners’ 28 league fixtures so far this campaign, with Mikel Arteta’s side sitting eight points clear at the top of the table with 10 games to play.
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