Oleksandr Zinchenko has given his verdict on Arsenal teammate Thomas Partey.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey struck up an effective partnership on the pitch for Arsenal last season.

Following his £32 million switch to the Emirates Stadium from Manchester City, Zinchenko was deployed as an inverted left-back by Mikel Arteta. This saw the Ukrainian regularly drift into the middle of the park, where he could combine with Partey, to help progress Arsenal up the pitch.

Partey and Zinchenko formed a key part of the foundations that Arsenal’s success last season was built upon. The full-back has consequently developed a strong appreciation of his Ghanaian teammate’s qualities. 

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Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE, Zinchenko was asked who he feels is the most underrated player in the Premier League. The 26-year-old said, “underrated… I think Thomas Partey.”

When asked how the £200,000-a-week Arsenal midfielder compares to his contemporaries, such as Manchester United’s Casemiro, Zinchenko said, “listen, I don’t want to say something bad, he [Casemiro] is absolutely a world-class player as well…five Champions Leagues. But for me, if you wanted me to choose one, it would be Partey.”

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Zinchenko ranks Partey above all others

The defender continued to compare Partey to two of the great defensive midfielders he played alongside during his time at the Etihad Stadium, Fernandinho and Rodri. He stated, “I had the debate in my head, who is actually the best holding midfielder I have ever played with…It was between Fernandinho, Thomas Partey, and Rodri. It’s a tough one.”

Rio Ferdinand asked Zinchenko if Partey is truly better than Manchester City’s £62.8 million midfield powerhouse Rodri, to which the 53-cap Ukraine international replied, “Rio, please come and see him [Partey] in a training session. He has everything.”

Partey is undeniably a brilliant midfielder. His ability to break up opposition attacks and distribute the ball forwards quickly to launch Arsenal into the final third has made him a crucial figure in the middle of the park for the north London club since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2020.

However, so far this season, Arteta has opted to deploy the 45-cap Ghana international at right-back, in order to field £105 million summer signing Declan Rice in the central role ahead of the defence. For all of Partey’s quality, his stature as the main man in the Arsenal engine room may well be in doubt.

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