Declan Rice has settled quickly at Arsenal since his mega-money move from West Ham, and he has been impressed by the quality of his new teammates.

Mikel Arteta managed to convince Rice to make the move across London, and the quality within Arsenal’s squad may have played a part in his decision, as he realised that he could help lead this side to major honours in the long run.

Rice has now praised fellow defensive midfielder Thomas Partey, naming the Ghana international as one of the best players in the world in his position.

Speaking to Joe Cole on Channel Four, Rice claimed that Partey is up there with the world’s best defensive midfielders.

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“The main one in the Premier League is Rodri, he’s incredible. The way he works, the way he keeps that Man City team ticking, he’s a top player,” Rice stated when asked about the best players in his position.

“Partey, when I come to Arsenal, he was incredible and has been until his injury. Tchouameni at Real Madrid, he’s aggressive, gets on the ball, goes forward.”

Arsenal’s missed opportunity

A midfield trio of Partey, Rice and Martin Odegaard would have been almost unstoppable, but this was only seen once, as Arsenal drew 1-1 with Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Partey lined up as an inverted fullback at the start of the season, with Kai Havertz in a midfield role, with mixed results as Arsenal were dominant in possession but less fluid going forward in all of their games so far.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Paul Harding – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

With Partey now injured, Arteta will not get another chance to play this potentially world-beating midfield three for a while, and this may come with some frustration. The combination of strength, technique and creativity within that trio could have been ideal for tough away games, and may have been the perfect solution at Goodison Park on Sunday.

It remains to be seen what kind of role Partey will have when he returns, but it would be a shame if this trio is not explored at any point this season.

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