Ian Wright has waxed lyrical about Arsenal’s Thomas Partey’s ball-playing ability as he claimed the Ghanaian ‘does not pass the ball backwards’.
Partey has performed well alongside Granit Xhaka with the two forming a great partnership in the centre of midfield during Tuesday’s win over Southampton.
Speaking on Premier League productions after the victory, the former Highbury favourite sungs the midfielder’s praises in helping a creatively-starved Gunners side.
Wright said: “He’s a game-changer simply because of the way he plays in midfield. He’s somebody that does not pass the ball sideways. He wants to pass it forward and that gets everybody forward.”
“If you have got players like Emile Smith Rowe and Saka in an area where they can both pick up the ball, progress with the ball and run with it then all of a sudden you have their defenders running backwards. You have people starting to make runs and you are starting to create, which we weren’t doing a few weeks back.” (via Optus Sport)
Is Thomas Partey Arsenal's most important player?
deep-lying midfield talents have been hard to come by for the north London giants since the departure of Santi Cazorla back during the summer of 2018. The Spaniard’s creativity on the ball helped the Gunners push forward from defence into attack seamlessly through both passing and dribbling.
In his absence, we’ve had to endure the likes of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny and whilst both have their strengths, neither are progressive in their passing.
However, little did Arsenal fans know, they were about to be blessed with the acquisition of Partey, who has been a breath of fresh air in N5. His ability to drive the team forward both through dribbling and progressive passing has added a new dimension to Mikel Arteta’s side.
Losing Cazorla was heartbreaking especially given how well he performed in a deep-lying position. However, Partey has now taken up the mantle and can drive the Gunners forward for years to come.