It seems as if Arsenal’s move for Thomas Partey has been in the works for months now. The Atletico Madrid midfielder apparently caught the eye of the north London outfit around a year ago, when Unai Emery was still at the helm. Although nothing materialized last summer, the Gunners are hoping that they can strike a deal with the La Liga club for their midfield enforcer.
While labeled a defensive midfielder, Partey can practically do it all from the middle of the pitch. Not one to just sit in front of defense and clean up, the Ghana international is full of energy and is constantly looking forward when on the ball. Yes, the 26-year-old midfielder can be break up play and make interceptions deep in his own territory; however, his ability is much more than that.
Partey currently has the second-most successful dribbles among central/defensive midfielders in La Liga play this season. He regularly receives (or takes) the ball and progresses it up the pitch to turn defense into offense. And it’s not even just the total amount of completed dribbles that’s so impressive, it’s also the fact that his dribble success rate is an astounding 87% during the current campaign. This is a higher percentage than Frenkie de Jong, Luka Modric, Martin Odegaard, and Santi Cazorla.
Along with his ability to turn up pitch, Partey is also a very good passer. While his 83% total pass success rate isn’t necessarily mind-blowing, the Ghanaian ranks highly in accurate long balls (76) and long ball success rate (55%). Partey also performs well in the air. He has won 42 of 62 (68%) aerial duels in league play this season. No Arsenal central/defensive midfielder currently has more than 33 aerial duels won or a higher than 50% success rate in this category.
Despite all of these impressive offensive achievements, Partey is still a defensive powerhouse. The ability to tackle and make timely interceptions are undoubtedly a significant part of this player’s arsenal. He currently ranks ninth in interceptions and eleventh in tackles from the middle of the pitch during La Liga this season. It’s safe to say that there doesn’t seem to be much of a weak spot in the Ghanaian’s game.
Arsenal have needs in multiple positions heading into the summer. Center back, attacking midfield, and competition at right back are all places that the team’s brass will look to strengthen. The Gunners do currently have Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as competition for the two central midfield starting spots.
Although reinforcements in this particular position may not necessarily be needed, there are not too many available players in the world with the ability that Partey possesses. A deal for the Atletico midfielder could, and perhaps should, be too sweet to pass on.
SEE MORE: Read our interview with Arsenal America
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- England under pressure to make home advantage count at Euro 2022
- US, Jamaica women win in World Cup, Olympic qualifying event
- Ronaldo’s power play puts pressure on Ten Hag
- Galtier appointed PSG coach on two-year deal: sources
- Veteran Quagliarella extends Samp stay to 2023
- Marseille name Croat Igor Tudor as new coach
- PSG tipped to finalise appointment of Galtier as coach
- Barcelona seal double swoop for Kessie, Christensen
- Work to be completed well before World Cup: organisers
- Switzerland to Salford: Four days of groundhopping across Europe