Tag Archives: thomas partey

Arsenal new boys “best signings in years”

Over the summer criticism of Edu creeped in as the transfer window rolled on.

The criticism was not unfounded, as Arsenal publicly struggled in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar and only completed the signing of Thomas Partey on the last day of the season.

But praise actually needs to be given for the transfer business we did over the summer. Especially with the recruitment of Thomas Partey and Gabriel.

Arsenal signed Brazilian centre back Gabriel on September 1st for a fee in the region of £24million.

He came with a good reputation in France, having impressed for Lille last season.

But there were questions marks.

Prior to 2019/20, he had a couple of uninspiring loan deals at Troyes before joining Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, where he made just one league appearance for each club’s senior team.

His statistics, however, held up well.

Whether it was aerial duels, ground duels or passing, he was producing better statistics than anyone at Arsenal. Although this came with the caveat that he was playing in France.

He has taken to English football like a duck to water and should already be considered one of the best central defenders in the league.

When you consider Manchester City and Manchester United have spent so much on central defenders in recent years, and Chelsea had to settle on vetran Thiago Silva, Gabriel feels like a real coup.

Virgil van Dijk aside, it is a struggle to name a better central defender in the league than Gabriel. And at 22 (and with van Dijk out for a year), Gabriel will quickly establish himself as the best in the league.

Thomas Partey was signed on the last day of the transfer window.

We have only seen him for 90 minutes in the Europa League, but he confirmed what we already know about him – that he is a beat of a central midfielder.

A few people expected Partey to replace Granit Xhaka as the midfield anchor. But this would result in Partey losing 50% of his influence.

Just because you are a defensive midfielder, does not mean that your job is to sit in front of the defence.

Take Patrick Vieira for example.

One of the greatest midfielders to have ever played the game, he always played with someone behind him – Emmanuel Petit or Gilberto for Arsenal and Didier Deschamps for France.

That allowed Vieira to press forward, to bully players across the park. If he was the anchor, he would have to be more statics. Cleaning up rather than dominating.

Partey is in a similar mould.

You want the Ghanaian to have the freedom to press opponents regardless of where they are on the pitch.

Against Rapid Wein we saw this.

He would push forward, bullying players, with Mo Elneny playing behind him providing that cover.

Partey’s game is ready made for the Premier League.

In Partey and Gabriel Arsenal have made two big signings. Two players that we have missed for a decade.

A dominant central defender and an equally dominant central midfielder.

They are the men Edu now needs to build the team around for the next 5 years.

We might have finished the transfer window not adding the creativity we craved, but through Edu’s recruitment and Mikel Arteta’s coaching, we now look more defensively solid.

Once a manager has built that solid foundation, he will transition into a more attacking style of play.

Partey and Gabriel are Arsenal’s best signings in years.

We are looking good.

Keenos

Kieran Tierney available to get the Partey started against Man City

Proper football is back.

Although it comes with the caveat that you can’t watch games in the pub with mates; you can’t watch it your home with mates; you can only watch it outside with mates. And no more than 6.

Luckily I have no mates so it isn’t a huge issue.

Arsenal play Man City at 4:30pm. Where and how you watch it is up to you. Watch it on your own. Watch it in a pub with mates. Just be careful.

The good news for Arsenal is that Kieran Tierney is now available following Arsenal’s appeal against his isolation.

Tierney was adamant that he remained 3m from the Scotland player that tested positive. There was no evidence to the contrary and, alongside testing negative for COVID19 and positive for COVID19 anti-bodies, the authorities came to the right decision.

Deadline day for domestic transfers was yesterday.

William Saliba went nowhere. Neither did Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi.

With the next window opening in around 10 weeks, I imagine we will use January to move on any unneeded players – whether on loan or transferred out.

Saliba was an interesting one.

There was plenty of interest. He isn’t registered in the Europa League squad. With a lack of central defenders in the U23s, maybe the plan is to play him week in, week out there till the new year?

Last little bit.

Got in an overnight discussion with some Spurs fans.

I questioned why people put Daniel Levy on a pedastool having overseen a period of 1 League Cup in 20 years.

One fan boasted to me that Levy had increased his personal wealth from £12m to £800m during that period. That’s a new one to stick into the trophy cabinet.

Hopefully today we get the Partey started!

Keenos

Thomas Partey set to start as transfer window finally shuts

Morning all.

Proper football finally returns tomorrow. Hallelujah.

It is a tough little game for Arsenal as we travel to Manchester City, and continues a tough little run.

In our first 11 games of the season, we would have played Liverpool, Manchester City, Man U and Tottenham away.

Throw in home games against Sheffield United, Leicester City and Wolves, as well as inform Aston Villa and an away trip to newly promoted Leeds and it makes it a tough start to the season.

If we come out of those 11 games with 7 wins (we already have 3), we would have done well.

That would have us on course for top 4.

If we can snatch a couple of draws or a win in one of those tough away games, it will be a bonus.

The big question for Mikel Arteta is whether to or not to start Thomas Partey.

Partey has played all 3 of Atletico Madrid’s game this season, completing 90 minutes in the last 2. His last league game being just before the international break.

He also played 180 minutes against Mali and Qatar for Ghana.

So match fitness will not be a problem.

He was at the training ground on Tuesday taking his promotion pictures having flown in from international duty. He probably did not join full training.

Wednesday would have been the first day he joined the full group.

Arsenal were not as depleted as some might think during the international break. We only had ten players in action.

Alongside Partey was Ainsley Maitland Niles, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah for England. Alex Runarsson, Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Sead Kolasinac, Bernd Leno, Nicolas Pepe were also on duty for their country.

We also had Kieran Tierney travel with Scotland, but he had to go into isolation following the positive Coronavirus test of a teammate.

The likes of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Gabriel, Mo Elneny, Joe Willock, Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not travel.

Looking at Manchester City, you have to think the starting XI will be made up with the majority of players who were not on international duty. Perhaps adding either Saka or Maitland-Niles at left wing back (neither player played much and all 3 of England’s fixtures were at home).

Having got 3 days training under his belt, Partey will start in the middle of the park. Arteta’s headache will be who to partner him.

Xhaka last played on Tuesday against Germany, so there is no reason he would not have returned from the short trip fully fit and ready to go:

Leno

Holding Luiz Gabriel

Bellerin Xhaka Partey Saka

Willian Lacazette Auba

Today is the last day of the domestic transfer window. Do not expect Arsenal to do anything.

Have a good Friday.

Keenos