Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will “respect the process” when it comes to Thomas Partey, with the Gunners eager to avoid rushing the £45 million ($58m) signing into their Premier League plans.
The deadline day signing from Atletico Madrid was included in the Gunners’ squad as they visited Manchester City on Saturday.
Arteta resisted the urge to throw the new recruit in at the deep end against Man City. Partey had to make do with a place on the bench at Etihad Stadium, with just eight minutes of competition action seen on debut.
The expectation is that he will play a significantly more prominent role over the coming weeks. Many are tipping the 27-year-old to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Vieira by becoming the next great enforcer in Arsenal’s engine room.
Arteta, though, is wary of expecting too much too soon and plans to continue easing Partey into life at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners boss said after the game: “We will see how quickly we can make it with him.
“I think we have to respect that process and that timing for him because he only trained for a day really and there’s a lot of new information and different game models for him to understand, and we have to respect that, but I think when he came on he looked good.”
Partey was unable to prevent Arsenal from slipping to a 1-0 defeat against title hopefuls City.
He will be hoping that a first victory in new colours arrives in a Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna on Thursday, with Arteta looking for his side to offer a positive response as a collective in that contest.
The Spaniard added: “Absolutely. We have to get used to this because we are going to be playing every three days in different competitions. We have a big squad at the moment, everyone is so willing to play so we'll give opportunities to everyone.
“I'm very encouraged because I see the progress every day. I see how united they come in, I see the chemistry that they are creating them, how much belief they have in what we are trying to do.”