Mikel Arteta offers updates on Kieran Tierney & Thomas Partey ahead of Benfica clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that left-back Kieran Tierney has travelled with the squad to face Benfica on Thursday, but midfielder Thomas Partey will miss the fixture through injury.

Tierney hasn't been seen since January's 3-0 win over Newcastle United, missing no fewer than six games after picking up a leg injury, but he returned to training this week.

Tierney has returned to training | Visionhaus/Getty Images

As for Partey, he was forced off during the recent 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa with a hamstring injury, and Arteta confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Thursday's game will come too soon for the Ghanaian.

"Thomas didn't travel. He's not there yet, he's still training individually," said the boss (via the club's official website). "Kieran has had one session with us and is part of the squad."

Arteta declined to offer any insight on Partey's injury, but Goal's Charles Watts revealed on YouTube that there is reason to be optimistic about his recovery.

Partey is making good progress | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

"Thomas Partey is certainly not going to be involved yet, with that hamstring issue," Watts said. "He’s still a couple of weeks away, although he’s supposedly, from what I hear, doing very well and pretty happy with the progress that’s been made. Still, he’s not going be involved this weekend against Man City.”

Arteta also revealed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has travelled with the squad, despite a video emerging on social media which appeared to show the Gabon international breaking COVID guidelines by getting a tattoo.

"Yes, he's here," Arteta bluntly replied when asked if Aubameyang had travelled.

"Whatever we do with our players, we keep it internal. It's true that a lot of the members of our squad have extended families at home and if a player does something that is not within the regulations obviously, the club acts immediately but always privately.

"We tried to advise every player and make sure that they know all the rules and that we have to stick to those rules all the time. If someone doesn’t do it, obviously we have to act immediately, so again, I cannot tell you who every player lives with, but we do and when somebody does something you shouldn’t be doing, obviously it’s going to get found out from us and there will be consequences. And if not, there won’t be."

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Source : 90min