Saul Niguez has tipped his former teammate and Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Partey for greatness.
Both players played in Atletico Madrid’s youth team and established themselves in Diego Simeone’s senior side.
The Ghanaian’s move to Arsenal last summer didn’t spoil the pair’s relationship and the Spanish midfielder reveals that they are still in touch.
Partey was one of Europe’s best midfielders when he was on the books of Atleti before last summer.
He had been an established name in their team and was attracting attention from around Europe.
Arsenal signed him with just a few hours to go before the transfer window shut by triggering his release clause.
The move angered his former team and their fans, but it doesn’t seem to have affected how Saul sees the midfielder.
He says Partey has benefited from having Mikel Arteta as his manager at Arsenal and adds that he has the potential to be the best in the world.
Speaking at an event for LiveScore as quoted by Sun Sports, he said: “I think having a coach like [Mikel] Arteta at Arsenal eased things a lot for him.
“He knows the language and it is a culture that suits him. As a player he’s incredible and if he manages to keep this consistency, he can be one of the best in the world, honestly.
“I have known him since we were 16 or 17 years old and I’ve always felt that he was going to be a very important player, but what he has lacked is the consistency, because he’s capable of doing everything.
“He scores from out of the box, he makes ground, intercepts, distributes, runs the game himself. But if he ever reads this [laughs] I would like to mention again that he should improve his consistency.
“It’s not enough just doing one good game and then not appearing in three or four. He has to be more intelligent in that aspect and know what he has to do those days in which he’s not performing as well.
“It’s difficult because he started pre-season with us and then he left without finishing it. He tried to play every game, he got injured, then he tried to come back before the correct time.
“Everything has been a bit unfortunate, but I think next season will be a great season for him.”