Thomas Partey could have been the man bring the very best out of Mesut Ozil at Arsenal.
That’s according to Gunners hero Paul Merson who remains sorry to see the German World Cup winner unnamed in Mikel Arteta’s Premier League squad.
Ozil cannot be added to the ranks until January at the earliest, leaving him forced to watch on from the sidelines for at least the next two months.
But Merson believes that had Ozil been included in the 25-man squad, or re-added next year, he would benefit from playing ahead of the brilliant Partey in midfield.
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Arsenal’s marquee summer signing has already won the affection of the club’s supporters, especially against Manchester United last weekend with his energy and bite in the tackle bringing an extra layer of security and strength in the Arsenal midfield.
Partey’s presence in the engine room, coupled with his willingness to drive forward, in theory, mitigates against Ozil’s propensity to drift in and out of games, and his lack of defensive skills leaving Arsenal vulnerable in the middle of the park.
“It’s a shame that Ozil can’t play because I think he opens up the space for Ozil,” Merson told Sky Sports when asked about Partey’s early influence. “They’ve got that player now. Before you looked and you thought ‘not good enough in midfield’.
“You’ve got Xhaka and whoever it might be playing with him. They haven’t got that pass, and they play deep, and it’s just workman-like.”
He continued: “I can’t speak highly enough of him.
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