The international break is finally over and Arsenal fans can look forward to seeing Thomas Partey in action. The Ghanaian moved to the Emirates from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day after we triggered his £45 million release clause. (Sky Sports)
Partey is in line for his debut, and his first game for us will not be easy. Arsenal travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City on Saturday. Mikel Arteta knows Pep Guardiola’s side almost as well as the City boss himself, but the game will still be difficult.
The last time the two sides met each other, Arsenal picked up the victory in the semi-final of the FA Cup. We scored both goals on the counter-attack, but Arteta finally has a squad who can go toe to toe with the former Premier League champions.
Partey’s addition to the squad adds a whole new dimension to our midfield. Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos are fantastic players in their own right, but Arsenal legend Ian Wright claims that our latest signing offers something that our two other midfielders don’t.
He said on The Kelly and Wrighty Show on Optus Sport: “I think when you look at the Thomas Partey signing, it’s the kind of signing where that’s who we wanted. We’re not talking about a midfielder where people may feel is just a stopper and a destroyer and then pass the ball to the next man.”
“This guy can progress the ball. And the problem that Arsenal have had is that. As well as Dani Ceballos can play on the ball and as well as [Granit] Xhaka produces nice passes, they don’t progress it. And that’s what Thomas Partey will do.”
For years, Arsenal have lacked a player who offers the perfect balance between attack and defence. Partey’s ability to protect the backline as well as drive into the opposition half will make us a very dangerous side, but the Ghanaian will need time to adapt to the Premier League.
With Kieran Tierney possibly out, Arteta has a decision to make. Will he stick to the 3-4-3? Or will he revert to a back four? Either way, Partey will have no problem slotting straight into the middle, and if he has a good game, our chances of a win will increase considerably.