Arsenal Invincible Gilberto Silva spoke on Astro SuperSport about Thomas Partey’s performance against Tottenham yesterday.
Emile Smith Rowe, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes took all the plaudits, but Partey – apart from a couple of dodgy touches at the end – was quietly brilliant.
The Ghanaian was viewed by many as the kind of midfielder we’ve lacked since Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva left the club. The latter was asked about Partey, and he showered praise on the former Atletico Madrid man.
Asked if Partey is the best defensive midfielder he has seen at the Emirates in recent years, Gilberto said: “I guess so. In my opinion, I agree with you. He’s a good player. He’s the type of player Arsenal were missing, I’ve spoken a couple of times about it.
“They have good players in the [central midfield] position but not to sit and give Arsenal the stability they have. Look at the game [against Spurs] it was great to see how he managed his game, how he managed that position, helping [teammates].
“You know what is very important about this particular position? This is a very particular position because not every time you get the credit you deserve. That’s okay, it’s fine, because you have to understand that. But this guy, when he understands the position like Partey, look at his game: he made the others a lot better.
“He makes Xhaka look better in the game, he made the defenders look a lot better and comfortable when the ball was against them. I think the way he manages games, the way he positions himself, is very important for Arsenal. He is the kind of player Arsenal have needed for quite a long time in my opinion.”
Partey had 76 touches of the ball and completed 80% of his passes. He registered two key passes, completed two of his three attempted dribbles and won eight of his ground duels against Spurs yesterday.
He also made three tackles, one interception and was dribbled past just once in the entire game. (SofaScore)
The game yesterday wasn’t Partey’s best, but he still was very good. He will only get better as he plays more games, and once he is at his best, he is going to be one of the best midfielders in the country.