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Thomas Partey has an “aura” about him that helps make Arsenal better, according to manager Mikel Arteta.
Partey provided his first Premier League assist as Arsenal recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday.
Injuries have limited the midfielder to just eight appearances in all competitions since his arrival for a reported £45million (€50m) from Atletico Madrid in October.
Arteta was delighted with the Ghana international, who had two interceptions and two key passes before being substituted in the 67th minute against Newcastle.
“We’ve been missing Tommy. He has this freshness, this aura that makes him a special player for us,” he told a news conference.
“Hopefully he can keep fit because we can see the difference he makes on the side.
“I think he was growing and getting better as the game was moving and evolving.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace and Bukayo Saka was also on the scoresheet and Arsenal kept five consecutive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since February 2009.
Arteta was satisfied with his side’s performance as they climbed up to 10th in the Premier League table.
“We always said that winning is the best thing for any collective team, for us as well,” he said.
“To get three clean sheets in a row, that we’re scoring goals and everything is more fluent. The energy and the cohesion, the spirit around the team is better.
“We have to keep that and there’s a lot of things we need to do better and improve but I’m really pleased.”
Arsenal are next in action on Saturday, facing either Southampton or Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.