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Arteta gives his verdict on Partey’s performance against Newcastle

Thomas Partey, Arsenal
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The Arsenal midfielder made his first start since returning from injury to help seal an impressive victory.

Thomas Partey’s performance got a thumbs up from Mikel Arteta, who hailed the midfielder for his ‘big influence’ in the 3-0 win over Newcastle United.

After coming on as a substitute against Crystal Palace last week, Partey made the line-up on Monday. It was his first start for Arsenal since coming off with a recurrence of a leg injury against Tottenham on December 6.

The 27-year-old played for over an hour and proved key in the club’s victory. His passing was excellent, and it was his through ball that enabled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to break the deadlock after the break.

Arteta may need to play safe with Partey for now, but the Arsenal boss was thrilled with what he had seen from his big-money summer signing.

“Really happy,” Arteta told Sky Sports on Partey’s performance. “He got better and better as the game went on.

“He had a big influence. He gives us things that are different to any other player.

“Still, we have to protect him as he has missed a lot of football in the past few months, but we are really happy with his performance.”

Partey will hope for some more action on Saturday in a FA Cup fourth-round tie against either Southampton or Shrewsbury Town.

Arsenal youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, meanwhile, made a bit of Premier League history.