Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is excited by the prospect of playing Declan Rice alongside Thomas Partey to create a “very powerful midfield”.

The pair played together in midfield against Manchester City in the Community Shield in August, which Arsenal won on penalties. Since then, however, Partey was used at right-back before being ruled out with injury since October.

The Ghanaian is back fit now, though, and is set to be in the squad for Arsenal’s trip to Sheffield United on Monday.

Rice has excelled for Arsenal since joining them in the summer from West Ham for £105million and when asked if playing with Partey could help the England midfielder perform even better, Arteta said: “For sure.

“I will have to see that chemistry on the pitch, and those qualities, and the things we have to treat around to make sure they play to their strengths and make each other better. But I think that will be a very powerful midfield.

“I think they only played in the Community Shield together in midfield. That tells you how much we have missed Thomas.

“To play the whole season – and a player like him who has not played much with us – the impact he can have for the next three months can be really big.”

Arsenal head to Sheffield United looking to make it seven Premier League wins in a row and they are under pressure to beat the Blades after both their title rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, secured victories over the weekend. The Gunners are five points off Liverpool and Arteta thinks his side will need to finish with at least 90 to win the title.

“You always ask me this question and I never get it right,” said Arteta, when asked how many points will be need to win the league this season.

“The demands, you might have to win every game. I don’t know. I have no clue. There are a lot of games and we are all going to have crazy schedules and this league might be different to last season. Anything under 90 points I think would be very difficult.”