Arsenal have more pressing needs than Thomas Partey right now

Thomas Partey is Not Optimal by AI

Would you rather spend 50 million euros + big wages on a 27 year old who, while being a very quality player, won’t address your most glaring issue from last season?

Thomas Partey is not the game changer Arsenal need. Granted, he’s a very good player and would immediately improve our midfield play, but who do you then play ahead of him? Xhaka and Joe Willock?

If after sales, Arsenal have a bit in excess of 50 million euros to improve the midfield with, then spending everything on a defensive midfielder when your midfield is crying out for creativity is quite moronic.

Mikel Arteta wants to transition to a 3-man midfield next season. Xhaka is sure to play a good part of it and yet Arteta has refused to play him as the deepest midfielder last season. Dani Ceballos played that role. If Arsenal should sign Dani Ceballos (as they should), then there’s no space for Thomas Partey anymore. Or is it a Partey-Xhaka-Ceballos midfield we are gunning for? That’s poor to me. Although it might work, all it takes is a single injury to ruin the balance of it.

I don’t think we should spend 50 million on Thomas Partey when we can get both Dominik Szbozlai and Dani Ceballos for that much. If we try to improve the overall quality of the midfield rather than just one part of it (Thomas Partey), we should be much better.

I sincerely believe we have a very good coach and that we should give him the best possible tools without bankrupting the club. If the club has money and a player like Houssem Aouar or Jack Grealish can be bought in addition to Dani Ceballos, it would be a much better midfield than Thomas Partey in addition to Ceballos. We already have Xhaka who can operate in the Partey role at an acceptable level. Buying a defensive midfielder for restrictive amounts doesn’t make sense, unless another top attacking midfielder can be secured.

It is much better to get a great attacking midfielder plus Ceballos and wait till next season to sign a defensive midfielder like Thomas Partey. Our problem was creativity and with our forward lineup, it would be a big waste to not have a top midfielder feeding the likes of Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé.

Thomas Partey can wait.

Agboola Israel


  1. Please name one arsenal midfielder that is of the same level with Thomas Partey. Thomas Partey is the iron we have lacked for ages now. Personally our Xhaka is no where close to Alex Song. Thomas is both the combination of Song and Xhaka. Take this from me, Xhaka is just too slow for a defensive midfielder

    1. Spot on Demo. I do not agree with this analysis. Normally, xhaka should be playing deeper, but he lacks the confidence, composure and skill on the ball to be the main point of transition from defence to attack, that is why he is played further up the pitch.
      If he’s played higher up, his lack of creativity does no good and his lack of pace is exposed during counter attacks by opponent. I think he is just being accommodated. There is nothing special he brings to the team. Party on the other hand is an exceptional box to box midfielder, can tackle, break play, dribble and has eyes for a good pass. His input will be highly critical if we are to challenge for a UCL spot this season. We won’t achieve much with mediocre players.

      1. Agree with you both Demo and Maxi in your critique of Agboola’s assessment. There are any number of CAM’s available at the moment if Ceballos does to Real Betis, including Szoboszlai (lower price and potential) to Aouar (higher price and higher profile). Arsenal can even use Emile Smith Rowe or give Ozil a final chance given the Club is stuck with him anyway.
        The critical positions in midfield involve strengthening the spine with a physical combative box to box midfielder in Thomas Partey and a specialist DM in Diawara from Roma. His transfer would be more than covered by the sale of Lucas Torreira, who wants a return to Italy.
        Once Arsenal has that strength and stability in front of defense in Diawara and the link up play of Partey, the wing backs, CAM and creative forwards, Arsenal has can move forward with greater confidence and create chances.

  2. I think we do need a physical presence like partey, he is not a defensive midfielder he’s box to box it’s not a necessity to get a creative mid because our front 3 have good link up play with each other if you look at liverpool they do not have a creative midfielder but rely on good link up and movement to create chances

      1. I don’t care what they says he is very well needed in the team (Thomas Partey) also we should not let lacazette out of the team either because he’s very important, he make aubameyang free on the wing to score goals , if they play aubameyang center forward they going to get less goals from him cause he’s not a play rough like lacazette

  3. Thomas Partey signing is a must. He is not just a defensive midfielder, he is a strong box to box midfielder with pace. A good passer of the ball. if we are to have that back 3 in a 343 formation, The midfield duo have to be strong on the ball. Xhaka and Partey combination in midfield
    will be a good combination in a 343 formation. Ceballos does not have the strength and energy of Thomas Partey. Xhaka is very slow when it comes to releasing the ball. his tackles most times are late. he hardly passes with his right foot. Go back and watch Athletico madrid versus Liverpool game at anfield, you will see the Partey at his very best. we should pay the 45m pounds and get him.

    1. Ceballos and Partey I would like to see in our middle ….Xhaka to be on the bench, we need quick versatile players

  4. Our William and Pepe will provide us the much needed creativity we need next season. But Xhaka and Celballos aren’t the answers to Arsenal midfield. Hence…. Thomas Partey

  5. I disagree. We do need more creativity but a key reason for the lack of it under Arteta has been the need to create more of a shield for the defence. If we upgrade this shield sufficiently it will (1) allow us to go back to a back 4 (also benefiting from better defenders) and therefore (2) give us more creative bodies higher up the pitch to link with the attackers

    1. I agree with you that we do need creativity. However I don’t think our tactical switch to a back 3 or 5 (depending on how u look at it) is the reason behind the lack of creativity. The back 4 didn’t offer much creativity either. We simply lack creative midfielders at the moment.

  6. Ideally we require a defensive box to box central midfielder…Dare I say the mould of Vieira…and Partey seems to fit the bill.If money then becomes available given the prospective sales of any or some of Lacazette,Guendouzi, Bellerin,AMN,Holding,Mustafi,Sokratis,Kolasinac,Torreira then a creative presence would similarly be a great addition…The priority at this time must,however,be someone who can both shadow Xhaka and protect the defence.As Arsenal proved at the end of last season results can be eeked out provided the defensive base is solidified and the team are able to exercise an effective “press”…Yes it can mean that it becomes more difficult to prise open the so called “lesser teams” who operate on a similar basis… but Arteta’s coaching abilities should be able to sort this issue out well enough during the first part of the Season at least.

    1. 👍Joel, Thomas Partey is the closest player in the mould of Patrick Viera, I have seen for some time. At €50 million he is a steal for the potential impact he will have on the Arsenal midfield. Teamed with Diawara at DM and the days of Arsenal being bullied in midfield, should be in the past.

  7. I respect your opinion but watching our games last season we struggled protecting a lead and that’s after going ahead! We still need a strong dm hence partey ticks it all. Not that a cm isn’t needed since ceballos is no longer with us, We should sign in those two areas in my opinion both are glaring necessities

  8. …One of the best analysis I’ve seen in a long time.ARSENAL from being in top 3 of most creative teams in England fell to number 14(I think) last season. Arteta even pointed it out at end of season. Yes Arsenal need a Partey… but on current priority,we need a lot more creativity

    1. Dough, it is hard to be creative if every time you lose the ball you are on the back foot, because your midfield is porous.
      Arsenal hasn’t had a decent balanced midfield since Viera and particularly Gilberto Silva left.

  9. We need Thomas partey in that midfield. He’s not only a defensive midfielder, but also a box to box midfielder which gives him extra advantage in transition play, especially, turning defence into attack. We can’t rely on Xhaka in that role because he’s limited, not mobile at all. Partey, Xhaka ń Aouar combination would be perfect

  10. To be successful in the EPL the spine of the team has to be strong before you start tinkering around the edges.By the spine I mean GK, CBs,DM and CF.This is where Wenger went wrong in my opinion during the second half of his tenure.He believed a team with skilful attacking players would overcome the deficiencies in the menial defensive area of the team.Let in three, but we will score four was his mantra .He was proved wrong.Liverpool were a cut above the rest last year because the spine of their side was stronger than that of any other side including Man City where the lack of quality at CB was clearly evident particularly in the absence of LaPorte through injury.It’s like building a house, without a very sound foundation, you quickly run into problems.A quality DM has been lacking at Arsenal for an age, and until that is remedied we will continue to struggle to make the top four in the EPL.

  11. I think that yes Partey is an outstanding player and would be an immediate upgrade in that area.
    If we actually do go out and get him then thats great but i do feel that paying over the odds for him is a bit of a risk when we can strengthen the whole midfield along with DM at the same time.
    If it doesnt work out form him here and considering his age, we would stand to lose out on alot of re sale value from him.
    dominik szoboszlai around 20m, Diawara swap for LT and soumaré for 25m i think is better business and probably better overall upgrades and then theres Marc Roca who has been linked with AM for 15m.
    I wont be unhappy with any signing that does come in as all we have been linked with are massive upgrades and i trust MA and Edu have the clubs best interests at hart

    1. Fair enough Val. Bottom line we need a dominant (physical and technical) player to play as CDM/box2box along with someone who will be a creative presence in MF. If money is an issue, Doucoure may be an option. He has played in the EPL and will not need to adjust. Roca being left footed may upset a MF including Xhaka. As for creativity, Ceballos may yet sign for us. But the lad from Red Bulls has tremendous potential.

      1. Marc Roca looks like going to Real Madrid and Danny Ceballos appears to want to return to his home club Real Betis.
        I am a big fan of Doucoure as he is EPL proven, but Arsenal has to move quick (pigs may fly!) because Everton is showing strong interest.
        ahmad, the young CAM from Red Bull Salzburg is 19 yo Hungarian international Dominick Szoboszlai.

  12. Going by arsenal philosophy the team has dropped in terms of creativity, yes we need a physical presence in our middle but I am of the opinion that we need a creative player more, presently ozil and ceballos play that role and now both of them look like they won’t be with us again, therefore, we need to replace them. Or maybe arteta may use willian in that role

    1. Ade, Arsenal have been bullied and overrun, even by moderate teams in the EPL for many a season now. As Grandad says “it’s all about a strong spine”.

  13. I’ve spent considerable time expressing my concerns regarding Xhaka’s ability to be a truly effective midfielder in the EPL…there is no doubt that he has the ability to positively impact games with his left foot, but his indecisiveness, glaring lack of pace and defensive shortcomings, make him a liability in the EPL…this is a League where having time and space on the ball are a rarity, where decisive through-balls are a necessity and where the ability to recover quickly in transition is imperative…that said, maybe if we could acquire a true defensive midfielder we could position him higher up the pitch and actually utilize the only skills he does possess, the ability to unlock defences with mid-range passes and to likewise provide the occasional goal from distance, which is something this team has desperately needed for some time

  14. If we don’t revamp midfield we won’t challenge for top 4 imo … defence will hopefully improve but expect teething issues with 2 new cbs and David Luis wanting piece of the action … we have zero quality in the middle at this moment a DM and an AM were priorities from last season and if ceballos isn’t coming we need an alternative … another season watching Xhaxas hapless footballing antics will be too much for me

  15. No!

    Arsenal desperately need a big Defensive midfielder for next season. If we are to progress above 8th next season this is a must.

  16. A midfielder destroyer like Partey should be the number target for Arsenal this transfer window. Our weakness there makes us lack confidence even when we have a lead and other teams know this. Partey’s release clause is well below market value so now is the time to grab him. The stars are aligning. I will be highly disappointed if Arsenal don’t close this deal now.

  17. I understand why Arteta wants him. A box to box with defensive qualities or DM who can advance with the ball. B. Soumare of Lille and Sanson of Marseille are comparable but less mature/proven, while Diawara of Roma is a different type of players.
    He would add to Arsenal but fee and reported wage demands are ridiculous and at 27-28, he has no resale value.

    If no swap deal can be made, I will pass for Alternatives, Sanson/Soumare and Diawara together with the same fee. You got DM and box to box. Again, seems like football manager but seems okay according to rumoured reports.

    1. Ba, who gives a rat’s arse about sell on value if Partey helps take Arsenal up the table and win trophies.
      Arsenal need strengthening midfield now, not worrying about developing players for resale. At the moment Arsenal can’t even retain their rising stars from the Academy like, Balogun and Greenwood. Serge Gnabry all over again.

  18. We struggled in creating things more then in defending. We can cope very well with out Partey. A midfield general/ creator is what this team needs. What’s the point of putting work horses in a team when we won’t be able to score goals. Partey looks good because of the way Ath Madrid play, their setup is tailored for him to shine and Simioni has completely different football philosophy then MA. He is a good player but all these fans need to lower their expectation of him even if we buy him, I don’t think that will change the dynamics of the team on its head and make us into some competing force.

    1. Mohsan, Arsenal needs physicality, drive and ball winning ability in midfield. The Club has been bullied by moderate opposition for years.
      A good side starts with a strong spine and a sound defense. It is difficult to attack, if you are always on the back foot.

  19. Partey is a must to strengthen our defensive spine and he along with a creative midfielder(if Ceballos is not signing)will be the backbone of our midfield next season. We are good on the wings, both pace wise and skill wise, good in the CF position, good in the full back position, only our midfield has to strengthen to make us top 4 contenders.

  20. We have lot of good offensive players that creat play for goal but we are locking of good holding midfielder. Our achievement rely on a good holding midfielder without this we are no where. Thomas Partey is good enough with respect to that told, he is good on the ball and off the ball, has good pace, dribbling skill and accurate in giving tru passes. Singing him will boots our midfield.

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