Mikel Arteta offers Thomas Partey update after Arsenal star misses FA Cup clash

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Thomas Partey was "still a little bit short" of full fitness according to Mikel Arteta after he left the midfielder out of their FA Cup win against Newcastle.

Arsenal have been without the Ghanaian for several weeks but he is close to returning.

The 27-year-old was hauled off in the north London derby back in November but was in contention for a start against the Magpies.

Arteta has had to deal without his £45m summer signing for large periods this season and was clearly cautious about bringing him back too soon.

"We assessed the situation, how much training he's done, the boxes that he ticked and he was still a little bit short," revealed the Spaniard.

Thomas Partey is nearing a return to full fitness
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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"Hopefully we will have him in the squad on Thursday. Let's see how he trains in the next couple of days. He's really good at the moment."

But just as Arteta receives good news on Partey he is dealt a major blow regarding young striker Gabriel Martinelli.

The Brazilian has been absent for several months but recently returned to the fold.

Martinelli is highly rated at the Emirates and had started two of their last three games prior to Saturday night's contest.

Gabriel Martinelli went down injured in the warm-up

The 19-year-old went down injured in the warm-up and Arteta admits, even at this early stage, that it doesn't look good.

"I am gutted. I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and told me that Gabi had hurt himself, that he'd twisted his ankle," he said.

"I went to the medical room and he was in tears. He was in a lot of pain and we're going to have to see how he is.

"It didn't look good. I imagine that we're not going to have good news with him.

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