Partey’s Injury Scare and Thoughts on Moises Caicedo
I had started the draft for this post on Saturday night, then decided to watch WWE’s Royal Rumble in the early hours of Sunday morning. From 2.00am to 6.30am to be exact. Then I went to church and when I returned home, there was no difference between me and a polar bear that was set to go into hibernation.
So I slept, and slept, and yeah, slept. And woke up in the late hours of Sunday evening, and yeah slept some more.
When Arsenal visited the Etihad Stadium to take on the Juggernaut called Man City, it was inevitable that it was going to be an intense game and even if Mikel Arteta’s men fell short after 90 minutes, it was evident that the gulf in quality between both sides have become very close and Arsenal have massively improved under the tutelage of their Spanish head coach. When Thomas Partey was substituted at half time for Albert Sambi Lokonga, I was somewhat concerned about it and shortly after the game, there were all sorts of rumors circulating that the Ghanaian maestro had picked up and injury that would keep out for six weeks, that sent the Goonersphere into meltdown.
The manager confirmed after the game that Partey was going for a MRI scan to verify the extent of the damage to his ribs. The latest reports emanating is that Partey will be fit to play Everton but it just goes to show that Arsenal is walking on a tight rope with Partey, especially with the fact that Mohamed Elneny is out for a long time and Sambi Lokonga continues to put up underwhelming performances.
Arsenal has been heavily linked with several defensive midfielders this window, and the latest target was Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, the 21-year-old Ecuadorian that has taken the Premier League by storm with his fledgling performances for the outfit. Just like Leandro Trossard before he joined the Gunners, Caicedo took to social media to issue a ‘come and get me plea’ to Arsenal, as well as a ‘let me go’ statement to his parent club. It was clearly ill-informed on his part, but then again, Trossard’s antics in the earlier part of the fueled the fire that was used to burn the bridges he had at Brighton, but with the emergence of the electric Kaoru Mitoma and Trossard having just a year left, Brighton were somewhat comfortable letting the Belgian maverick go to North London.
Caicedo, on the other hand, is a different ball game. He’s 21, has three years left on his contract and Brighton don’t have a ready made replacement in the squad (remember he was the in-house replacement for Yves Bissouma that joined Spurs last summer, so you can understand why the club is in no hurry to let go of his services, even though they didn’t need him in their FA Cup victory over Liverpool.
It has been reported that Arsenal made two bids for Caicedo – the first worth £60m and the improved offer worth £70m, and both have been rejected by Brighton, for a player they signed for £4m.
Arsenal will need to act fast and find a backup defensive midfielder with the handful of days left in the January transfer window, with their failed pursuit of Caicedo.