Arteta critical of injured Arsenal midfielder Partey leaving the field

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suggested that midfielder Thomas Partey was in the wrong for walking off the pitch in the build-up to Tottenham's second goal in the 2-0 North London derby defeat.

Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal, reacts during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal on December 06, 2020 in London, England.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Arsenal's Thomas Partey suffered a recurrence of a thigh injury in the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, manager Mikel Arteta said.

The Ghanaian, who cost Arsenal 50 million euros ($60.69 million), injured his thigh last month and only returned to the side on Sunday.

Partey pulled up injured shortly before halftime and was standing on the touchline when Spurs broke from their own box. Arteta then urged him back on to try to stop the counter-attack but the midfielder could only run a few yards before stopping.

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“I was trying to push him but I don't think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position but that was probably because he was in a lot of pain,” Arteta told reporters.

“Suddenly they are coming to attack us and Thomas is walking to me and I was trying to push him. I haven't spoken to him so I don't know exactly how it happened or if he felt something really serious.”

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Partey's absence will be a cause for concern for Arteta amid a busy schedule where Arsenal, 15th in the league, plays eight games in 23 days.

($1 = 0.8239 euros)