Over the last few months, there has been plenty of chatter online that we should be looking to replace Thomas Partey due to his injury issues.
Since joining the club in 2020, the 29-year-old has missed 28 games through injury – exactly 25% of the games.
His 10 game absence during the run in last season cost us top 4, and he has already missed 5 games this season.
But the performance against Tottenham showed exactly why we can not afford to get rid.
Whilst one of the cotenders to replace Partey sat warming Tottenham’s bench, Partey put in a MOTM performance, scoring the opener and being a dominating force in the middle of the park.
As predicted, the Kane v Partey duel was key to the outcome of the game. And Partey dominated the England captain – Kane had just 2 touches in the box; one of which was the penalty.
It is easy to say you want Partey to be replaced, but he really is irreplaceable.
Who else in world football right now is a one man destructive force in midfield. Whilst also has the ability to get his foot on the ball and create?
The trend in recent years has been to play 2 defensive minded midfielders. Pretty much every team in the Premier League have a pair marshalling in-front of the defence.
Manchester City are the only ones who consistently go away from this model. And now Arsenal.
Both play just one in-front of the defence – Partey and Rodri. Then have someone further forward that can drop deeper if needed – Grant Xhaka and İlkay Gündoğan.
Having just one deeper midfielder means that they can overload the opponents in attacking areas.
Realistically, we are not going to be able to replace Partey with someone of similar quality. The likes of Douglas Luiz are just not on his level.
So naturally, whenever Partey is not on the pitch the quality in the Arsenal team will drop.
Whilst it is a negative, it is not something that is easy to resolve. Partey is that good!
On Saturday we had plenty of Ghanaians crying into their cornflakes that Partey had pulled out of their 2 friendlies injured, only to start against Tottenham.
Maybe they should give a little more respect to their starman who had played just one of the last seven games for Arsenal.
Anyone with a brain would have agreed that Partey not playing in a couple of international friendlies would give him more time to come back from injury. And mean that he is fitter come the World Cup when it really matters.
The fact he only played 73 minutes on Saturday showed that he is still not full fit. and Arsenal will have to continue managing his game-time to ensure he does not have a recurrance of his thigh problems.
I still maintain Arsenal’s best option will be to go for a younger option. the likes of Danilo of Palmeries or Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
Sign one of these been then do not cast Partey aside.
That would then give us 2 – 2.5 years (depending on if Danilo joins in January or Caicedo next summer) to have Partey as first choice and an understudy learning from him.
By the time Partey’s contract expires in 2025, we would hopefully have his replacement ready to go! We could then afford to lose him for a free knowing that our succession planing means we will not need to buy to replace.
Enjoy your day. Stay on the cloud 9. UTA.
Partey was an absolute animal on Saturday. For 72 minutes he put in the type of midfield performance that we haven`t seen over The Arsenal since Vieira left. Absolutely immense, brilliant on the ball, even better off it. Looked like a man playing in an U16 game. If you could guarantee him staying fit for the rest of the season then we`ve got a decent shot at finishing 2nd. Can`t see us challenging Citeh whilst that cunt Guardiola is there but we might end up best of the rest. Whatever happens, it`s a good time to follow The Arse. Easy to get behind a team that is prepared to run their bollock off and go through the pain barrier every week. Best Arsenal side since 08 in that respect and it has the potential to become even better in my opinion.