Mikel Arteta paid tribute to Thomas Partey after the Ghanaian impressed on his full debut as Arsenal beat Rapid Vienna 2-1 in Austria.
On a night when the Gunners struggled to build any real momentum, the €50 million signing barely put a foot wrong in the centre of the park, winning loose balls and keep the play ticking over.
The 27-year-old’s performance was all the more impressive given he’s only trained for a week with his new teammates. The boss believes it bodes well for the future.
“To be fair he looked really solid, really comfortable,” said Arteta.
“I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half as well when we were a little bit more open and we started to take more chances attacking certain spaces with some players.
“But I think he was fantastic tonight and there is much more to come from him obviously.”
Partey’s next challenge will be to replicate the trick in the Premier League.
The Gunners face Leicester City on Sunday night as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City and Arteta hopes his teammates will help him share the burden of expectation.
“Yes of course [there’s pressure], but he needs his team-mates around him. It’s not about him,” said Arteta.
“Obviously we know that with the price that we paid for him and the profile that he has, he is going to have a lot of people looking at him in every single game.
“But it’s about the structure we have as a team, the flow, the unity and the cohesion that we need in our team and he is one piece of that. Hopefully, he is a big piece.”