Thomas Partey has been captured stepping up his injury recovery after missing the last six weeks of action for Arsenal.

The 30-year-old has missed the bulk of the 2023/24 season through two separate muscular issues with just 341 minutes being played across five games.

In his absence, Gabriel Magalhaes was restored to the starting XI with Jorginho enjoying more frequent minutes in midfield with Declan Rice deployed in an advanced role. Club captain Martin Odegaard also missed some action with a hip injury and concussion although he has since returned to form a midfield three with Kai Havertz and Rice.

With the midfield injury issues improving, as highlighted by Emile Smith Rowe returning in the Champions League clash against PSV earlier this week, Arteta’s latest update on Partey was a promising one.

“We don’t know,” Arteta said when asked if he could be available to face Liverpool two days before Christmas.

“He’s getting a very good evolution in the injury, but it’s a bit early for the time frame.

“That would be incredibly fast if he’s able to do that. We’re going to have to wait. We are quite short, with five key, key players not being available for us now for a period of time. But we have to continue.” Partey’s qualities would be extremely useful to have for the clash at Anfield, however a return in the new year is more likely, but again he will likely be unavailable for Arsenal in the early months of 2024.

While a return will be welcome, it seems unlikely Partey will be at the club 12 months on from now due to his regular injury problems. Selling in January is possible, amid interest from Juventus, however the Gunners have problems in defence that will likely be addressed before any departures are sanctioned.