In the final hours of the transfer window, with the clock ticking relentlessly towards the 11pm deadline, Arsenal finally got their man.
Thomas Partey is an Arsenal player, much to the delight of Arsenal supporters everywhere, and to the great dismay of Atletico Madrid.
Sporting director Edu Gaspar triggered Partey’s £45million release clause on the final day of the window, informing La Liga, which freed Partey from his Atleti contract.
A succession of statements and announcements followed, but the salient point is this: Thomas Partey will be starting in Arsenal’s midfield this season.
How does he compare to his teammates and Arsenal’s current options in central midfield? football.london explores whose style he complements best in Mikel Arteta’s midfield.
Despite being regarded as a more defensive-minded player, the Ghanaian has three goals since the beginning of last season, compared to just three between Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock and the returning Mohamed Elneny.
Partey also trumps his new teammates when it comes to the number of tackles he has made in the same period, with twice as many as Elneny, three times as many as Willock and a third more than Xhaka and Ceballos.
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This must be caveated by the fact that Partey has been playing a destructive role in Diego Simeone’s extremely strict Atletico side, but nevertheless, his execution in ground duels has been some of the best on display across Europe.
It is a similar story for Thomas’ interceptions and ball recovery statistics; Arsenal’s current options do not come close. If these defensive metrics weren’t enough, Partey has also demonstrated his ability as a two-way midfielder; being able to defend and progress the ball forwards to join attacks.
His 64 completed dribbles since the beginning of last season is almost twice as many as Arsenal’s nearest…