Arsenal face more Thomas Partey agony as Mikel Arteta offers injury update

Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Thomas Partey yet again after he was hauled off against Aston Villa.

Partey was seen clutching his hamstring as he was replaced by Willian in the 74th minute of the Gunners' 1-0 defeat at Villa Park on Saturday.

Afterwards, boss Mikel Arteta confirmed he had suffered "a muscular issue" – with the midfielder now in a race to be fit for next weekend's Premier League clash with Leeds United.

Partey returned to the Arsenal team last month after missing eight games through injury.

The 27-year-old's fitness problems have meant he has made just 10 starts since joining the Gunners on transfer deadline day in October.

And Arteta will now hope he can return to training ahead of next Sunday's Emirates clash against Leeds.

"He had a muscular issue, so we had to take him off. He could not carry on playing,” said the manager after Saturday's game.

Asked whether the injury appeared serious, Arteta said: I don’t know, we will see the extent of the injury.

"He was feeling well enough to continue playing, so we had to take him off.”

Villa's Ollie Watkins scored the winner against Arsenal just two minutes in, with his effort deflected in by Rob Holding past debutant goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Watkins had been teed up by Bertrand Traore after the winger capitalised on a poor pass from Cedric Soares.

Arteta said: "We just gave them the ball, a moment you make a mistake and they punish you.

"You cannot win football matches if every week you do something like that."

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  • The defeat to Villa was Arsenal's second in a row after they lost to Wolves in midweek.

    The manager again pointed to refereeing decisions after he was left fuming last week when both David Luiz and Bernd Leno were sent off against Wolves.

    "Four or five times we’ve played with 10 men," said Arteta. "Against Wolves, we deserved to win both games by far but we lost both.

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    "[Red cards] cost us that game [against Wolves] – today other big decisions. Regardless of what the referee did today we should win the game comfortably."

    The Gunners remain 10th in the Premier League following the defeat to Villa.

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