Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arteta: We have to demand more from Partey

In the aftermath of Arsenal’s defeat at Old Trafford, Thomas Partey was quick to acknowledge he’s still not performing at the level he knows he can. It’s an ongoing theme of his time at the Emirates with injuries (both his own and those picked up by Granit Xhaka) hindering his chance to build confidence and momentum.

Given the Ghana international heads off to the African Cup of Nations soon, Mikel Arteta is keen to get the best out of the midfielder sooner rather than later, especially with so many games in quick succession.

“Thomas is a really important player in the team and obviously we’ve missed him for long periods since he joined,” he said ahead of Monday’s trip to Everton.

“And that is not ideal but our energy is just to get the best out of him and how we will do that.

“The fact he had so many injuries has not been really helpful for him because he hasn’t found the platform first of all physically to be at his best and then he has had games where he has been more consistent than in others.

“We need him at his best and he can produce more. He knows we have to demand more.”

Since signing from Atletico Madrid in October 2020, Partey has anchored the Gunners midfield alongside a whole host of teammates. Dani Ceballos, Mo Elneny, Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have all shared the centre of the park with the 28-year-old while formation tweaks have also seen Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard drop deeper to help out.

According to Arteta, all that mixing and matching, isn’t helping: “The fact we have to make some changes there doesn’t give him the consistency or a relationship and partnership with somebody to understand each other because of the injuries we have had but that is part of it so you have to adapt.”

By and large, Arsenal supporters have been patient with Partey, focusing on the flashes of brilliance as reason to believe the player can still live up to his billing. At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the £50 million fee paid to secure his services.

Asked whether increased scrutiny and criticism is linked to the pricetag, Arteta said: “I don’t think it is related to the money, they have seen the quality and what he can provide on the pitch. We want to see that more and more often.”

Indeed we do.

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With Xhaka (close to being) back, it will be interesting to see if Arteta tries to give Partey prolonged time next to Xhaka or Lokonga. I think this decision will be informed by the fact Partey goes to AFCON and Arteta will need to put some more minutes into Xhaka’s legs before that.

The midfield puzzle still a very unsolved one.

Nostalgic Gooner

We can get better players but if the system, style doesn’t change, it’ll be more of the same.


I suppose it’s fair to say that Partey has largely underwhelmed and has not quite been the midfield achor we were all hoping for. Unlike him, Xhaka atleast has had some games where he has entirely dictated play. Flashes aside, I don’t think Partey has had a game like that for us. Ideally I would like us to move one of Xhaka/Partey on during the summer and bring in a senior midfielder who can lead. We definitely need some help on our midfield and with Aubameyang’s contract expiring, we need a player who can captain and be a leader to… Read more »


I’d throw £40m at Leicester for Tielemans. Realistically we know that they have to accept offers when they come in, and I think he’s an exceptional player.
He may not be senior in age, but he certainly leads by example, and think he’d be an incredible partner for any of our CMs.
Then hopefully pick up another Sambi-type signing (significantly easier said than done of course). Central midfield needs properly strengthening this summer (along with up top). Thankfully I’d say our other positions are more or less all set for the timebeing.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Leicester bought Tielemens for £40m so they wouldn’t sell him for that same price. It would need a bid closer to £70m I reckon.


He’ll only have a year left on his contract come the summer. Maybe £50m, but they’re not gonna risk losing him for free, they’re too smart a club for that.


He’s indeed an incredible footballer. But truth be told the competition for his signature might be beyond us.


I think I’d prefer Ndiidi.


It’s funny because looking at the liverpool midfield they almost change individuals in that 3 on a weekly basis. Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Thiago, Milner, Alex Overrated-Chamberlain and then that kid who broke through early this season but got a nasty injury.

Anyway back to the Arsenal and demanding more from Partey, if I demanded a crate of cold lager sent to my house on matchday would it be stretching the demand too far?


I think the vast majority of football fans accept that Liverpool have better midfield options than us (yes, including Chamberlain), and it wasn’t a surprise that they dominated us there at Anfield. It’s an area we need to look at closely in the coming windows, though I’m sure the priority will be at least one new striker.

Nostalgic Gooner

We’d all love a better Party 🎊 🎉 this Christmas🥳


We so rarely splash out on established top-level / world-class players,* that it’s jarring when it doesn’t work out.

Sanchez, Ozil, Aubemeyang, and (cut-price) Cazorla. Anyone else?


He hasn’t been able to get close to his performance levels from the same fixture last season on a consistent basis. Many are pointing to not having the right partner for him, but imo the only person that can truly get the best out of Thomas Partey is Thomas Partey himself. One can only imagine where this team might be if Partey and Auba were playing to their potentials.

We used to attack.

It can’t do his or Auba’s confidence much good to be told publicly that they are underperforming.

Man Manny

Thomas Partey, to me, is an Alex Song-type player although he his all-round game is better.
Such players thrive on breaking plays and launching attacks; they need movements around, and in front of them.
I believe Partey is hindered by Arteta’s slow build, sideways passing, game: it does not suit him.
Put him in this Liverpool team and a new Partey emerges.


If 50 for Partey is a concern, 35 for Xhaka is transfer market malpractice.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He has been at Arsenal for 6 seasons including this one so that works out to 5.83m a season which is still decent value as he helped us win a couple of FA Cups.

Though I think I remember Wenger saying recently his biggest regret was not signing Ngolo Kante – which of course would have meant we wouldn’t have needed to sign Xhaka at that time.


I think Wenger’s regret was not signing Kante in the summer he moved to Leicester. In 2016 he made a few comments to the effect that we couldn’t realistically match Chelsea’s wage offer.


Let’s please start judging players on how they raise the technical quality of the team rather than arbitrary notions of “value”. 5.83 million is quite expensive to make us visibly worse in midfield over six seasons. We won cups despite Xhaka, not because of him.

If Partey doesn’t work out, we move on. He’s still a hell of a lot closer to Arsenal quality than Xhaka.


He was a major factor in us missing out on the Champions League.

The fact a player this mediocre and toxic has been a first team fixture for six seasons is an indictment of the quality we have in midfield – not to mention of the managers who have played him.

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