Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta should start Thomas Partey on the bench against Manchester City on Saturday, according to European football expert Julien Laurens. Partey is set to make his Arsenal debut following his £45million move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month.
Arsenal fans are excited to see the 27-year-old in action but Laurens does not think throwing him in against Pep Guardiola’s side would be a wise move.
He suggested next Thursday’s Europa League trip away to Rapid Vienna would be a good opportunity to hand Partey his full debut.
“I think he will be ready, physically he’s fit, he played with Ghana for the two games,” Laurens said on the Kelly & Wrighty Show.
“He would have trained Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
“Maybe it’s just not the game to start him now, maybe you can bring him on, depending how the game goes, I don’t know.
“To start him, I would wait a little bit, just for him to see and have a look.
“It’s hard to play against City, even if it’s not the greatest City, it’s still a bit difficult.
“Maybe don’t start him this one and then there’s a game after that.”
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Arteta insisted he had not yet decided if Partey would start at the Etihad.
“Well he was here just yesterday, he is getting familiar with everything around the club,” Arteta said.
“Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him. We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.
“I have seen the buzz around the place, the fans are really happy, I have seen some really positive reactions after we bought him, the same with the team, the squad and the staff.
“I think he is a player we had the radar on for a long time and we have managed to bring him in and I think he will be a really important addition to the team.
“He got to know some of his team-mates [already]. Not all of them, because some are still on international duty but we will have everyone back today and it will be a good day for him to get to know everyone.”