Mikel Arteta has claimed that Thomas Partey can help Arsenal reverse their fortunes in the second half of the season.
The Ghanaian midfielder has featured in just six games for the Gunners with injury playing a huge part in the midfielder missing large swathes of the campaign.
Speaking after the win over West Brom, the Spaniard praised the ability of the midfielder ahead of his potential return to full fitness.
Arteta said: “We are in January and I think he’s played two and a half games. That’s all and he was our main signing. We’ve been missing him. He brings something different to the team, he’s a player with an enormous talent. But as well someone that can transform the team the way we want.” (via The Mirror)
Should Partey return to the starting XI immediately following his return to fitness?
Partey’s fitness issues has been part of the reason why Arteta has had a lack of consistency in midfield. Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny has all been rotated as the former Manchester City coach tries to find the right combination in the middle of the park.
The struggle was on show during November and December where the club amassed just three Premier League wins in nine games with midfield struggles playing a huge role.
The Ghana international has shown just how influential he can be in central midfield with his ability to carry the ball forward and shield the defence two examples of how he can help at both ends of the pitch.
His performance against Manchester United is just one example which highlights the 27-year-old’s strengths. As well as making the most dribbles, Partey made the second-most tackles and third-most interceptions. His all-round saw him earn the man of the match award as the Gunners ended their Old Trafford hoodoo.
It would be foolish to assume the Gunners would be fine without such a player. Partey’s return to fitness will be a big boost for the club as they look to overturn a nine-point gap to fourth-placed Leicester City in their chase of Champions League football.