Arsenal’s Thomas Partey claims he has only operated at the peak of his powers for two games this season in an alarming admission over his fitness issues.
The midfielder arrived from Atletico Madrid for £45million on deadline day last October as the Gunners’ marquee signing of the summer transfer window.
Partey was rarely sidelined through injury during his time in the Spanish capital but he has suffered two hamstring strains and a hip complaint since his move to the Emirates.
These setbacks have limited the 27-year-old to 16 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, while he has missed 17 games through injury.
Of the matches where he has been available, Partey claims he has only been at full fitness twice.
Quizzed on whether he has operated at 100 percent in an Arsenal shirt, Partey said: “Yes, I had a few games.
“I think against [Manchester] United at their home and against Wolves [away] also I was able to show what I can do.
“Due to less games and less training, I think I have to keep working, keep trying to get back to that level again.”
Partey was one of Arsenal’s star performers as they battled to a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in November, and he also impressed at Molineux last month despite the Gunners losing 2-1.
The Ghana international said he hopes his “difficult” start in north London is now behind him as he spoke ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Olympiacos.
“It was a difficult moment to get used to how the team play,” Partey added. “It’s part of the game.
“You never know when you are going to be injured. I do all of my work and I try to make sure I’m not before any game.
“I think the injuries are part of the adaptation. Now I feel good, I’m doing all the necessary work to be more fit and play more games.
“I still have more time, I’m doing my best to get my level of competition and I think everything will be fine and I will be able to show what I can do.”