Arteta on if Wilshere could join Arsenal, Lacazette leaving +Partey fitness update

By on September 16, 2021

jack wilshere arsenal 2015

Mikel Arteta held his pre-match press conference today ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Burnley on Saturday and he covered a number of points including questions on Jack Wilshere, Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette.

Wilshere return?

Jack Wilshere came out earlier this week to say he’d love the opportunity to train with the Arsenal squad to maintain his fitness as he continues his search for a new club. This obviously sparked fan debate over whether the club should offer the former academy graduate a pay-per-play deal.

Understandably, Arteta was quizzed about it all at his press conference today and the boss has confirmed talks are underway with Wilshere about the possibility of him training with the club. Reporters asked Arteta if there is any chance Wilshere could re-join Arsenal and play for us again, but the Spaniard all-but ruled out that possibility.

He told Arsenal.com:

on if Wilshere has been in touch about training at Arsenal…
We are in conversations with Jack to understand what he needs, what he’s looking for. He’s a person and player who has a huge admiration around everybody – not just the players or fans, but all the staff around here. We are willing to help him as much as we possibly can. He knows that and this is the situation.

on if Wilshere could play for Arsenal again…
I wouldn’t take it that far. What I’m saying is that we’re in conversations with him to understand what he needs, how we can help him and that’s it.

I think it’s only right that Arsenal open their doors for Wilshere if he needs somewhere to train, however, I think it’s unrealistic to think he’ll ever play for us again. That ship has sailed.

Partey fitness

thomas partey arsenal

Thomas Partey made his return from injury with an impressive appearance off the bench during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Norwich last weekend.

The Ghana international had missed the first few games of the new season with an ankle injury that he picked up in pre-season so Arteta says they’ve been managing his workload since he returned to fitness.

Interestingly, the boss says Partey has been ‘training in and out’ this week so it appears the midfielder is still not back working at 100 per cent capacity yet. The club are obviously being cautious over his injury so it remains to be seen whether Partey will start at Burnley.

Arteta told Arsenal.com:

on whether Partey is fit to start at Burnley…
He is there. He has been training in and out this week, his load had to be managed because it was the early stages of the injury, what he had, but he is pushing everyone like he always does and he wants to be involved. We will make the decision at the weekend of what is best for him.

Lacazette future

alexandre lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette was linked with a move away from Arsenal over the summer transfer window as he’s in the final year of his contract and is no closer to signing an extension. A move failed to materialise so the Frenchman is being tipped to leave on a free transfer next summer.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fully fit and starting in a central striking role, Lacazette has found minutes hard to come by this season. He’s made just two appearances off the bench so far, with a combined 54 minutes played in the Premier League and League Cup.

Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun have even started up front ahead of Lacazette this season so it seems Arteta is planning for life without the former Lyon hitman. However, despite the lack of minutes, Arteta insists the French striker is ‘fully involved’ and will play his part this season.

Arteta told Arsenal.com:

on Lacazette and if Mikel is planning as a team that won’t use him – will he leave next summer?
No, he’s fully involved. You give the reasons why he hasn’t played more minutes and he will be back to the form that he can achieve. I am sure that he will be instrumental in our success.

I think it’s pretty clear Lacazette is going to leave next summer and Arteta is now giving opportunities to those who’ll be here for the long-term. Maybe if Auba picks up an injury this season then Lacazette might get a run in the team but otherwise I expect him to be consigned to the bench.