Mikel Arteta is hopeful Thomas Partey can take the next step in his Arsenal career after returning to action against Crystal Palace.
The midfielder was a big-money recruit from Atletico Madrid, but his time in north London has been disrupted by injury.
He returned to action as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw against Palace on Thursday - and Gunners boss Arteta is hopeful he can now kick on.
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"Obviously he hasn't played much football in the last four months. He had an injury in exactly the same place he had before when he got injured against Spurs," Arteta said ahead of Monday's clash with Newcastle.
"Now we have the reassurance that he can compete. He did it for 25-30 minutes. He did it well, he didn't feel anything so now we're going to be looking for the next step.
Arteta says he understands the pressure on beleaguered Newcastle counterpart Steve Bruce having been in a similar situation this season.
Bruce took responsibility for the Premier League club's winless run of six games after a 1-0 loss to basement side Sheffield United left them 15th in the standings, although he did rip into his players for their performance.
A seven-match winless run had dropped Arsenal to 15th in the standings earlier this season before they turned it around over the Christmas period and Arteta said Bruce would need the support of the club and his squad if he is to survive.
"When you're sitting in one of these chairs, you suffer and you have a lot of empathy for your colleagues. We all know what it takes, how much we suffer and as well Brucey is a top guy, a really good manager as well," Arteta said.
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"First, you need support from the club... then you need to feel as well what your fans and supporters can see what you are trying to build. Then the most important part for me is the feeling you have with the players.
"When you feel that the players are on board and they are really trying for you, that they are behind you, that gives you a big energy. Probably when you feel that the players are lost and not behind you, that is difficult."
Additional reporting from Reuters
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