Arsenal News: Thomas Partey’s arrival at Arsenal was met with a great deal of anticipation. However, he has not lived up to the high expectations set for him at Emirates.
On deadline day in October 2020, the Gunners agreed to a £45 million deal to bring him to North London from Atletico Madrid. Partey, a midfielder with exceptional talent, had many suitors across Europe, but it was Arsenal who closed the deal.
As a result of his signing, talk of Arsenal being the top four favourites quickly followed, although things didn’t exactly go as planned. The Ghanaian has had trouble playing regularly because of ongoing injury issues, which is the main problem.
Partey had a nearly flawless fitness record in the Spanish city. However, he has frequently been seen by Arsenal’s medical staff. The 29-year-old missed 10 games in the Premier League alone during his debut season with the club due to injuries.
Arsenal News: Frustrated Gunners fans
Few Arsenal supporters will ever forget when Partey left the field on his own initiative during a North London derby just months after joining the team.
Harry Kane took advantage of the situation to score. Arteta was obliged to push the man back into the action physically. However, the damage had already been done to the guy’s knee and to Arsenal’s prospects of winning the game.
Last season, not much changed because Partey’s fitness issues caused him to miss nine league games. Not that he has compensated for it by performing flawlessly each time he is well enough to play, either. The midfielder just recently confessed that he gave his time at Arsenal up to that point a four out of 10 ratings.
Now Partey has withdrawn from Ghana’s friendly match against Brazil in the warm-up. He is once more questionable for the impending visit from Spurs, it is time for Arteta to review his midfield options. Even though Partey is talented, a season-long reliance on him is simply impossible.
Arsenal wants to rejoin the elite of Europe. However, their late-season defeat last year demonstrated that they are only one Partey injury away from having their entire season derailed.
Lokonga as deputy, jury still out?
The Ghanaian’s current backup, Albert Sambi Lokonga, has shown flashes of his talent. However, it’s still unclear whether he can be relied upon to be a midfield staple for a team with Champions League aspirations.
As a result, Arteta is forced to take action and spend the summer. He is looking for a man who can replace Partey as a squad member. The Gunners require a player who, like Granit Xhaka, can be counted on for more games.
Arteta cannot afford to repeat the same error in January. The Champions League will again be on the line. Questions were raised when the summer transfer window passed without any reinforcements in the middle of the park.