Mikel Arteta reveals his plans for Partey and Rice in the coming season

The belief amongst Arsenal fans was that if a reasonable offer arrives for Thomas Partey, he could leave. However, it is now certain he will NOT leave. In fact, Mikel Arteta has hinted that he is elated to have Partey and his marquee summer signing, Declan Rice, at his disposal for next season, and what a “big win” that is.

The belief is that Rice would take over the No. 6 role, which was Partey’s, and thus the Arsenal No. 5 was to leave with another central midfielder signed to deputize Rice. However, Arteta may have other plans for Partey and Rice, as he recently hinted in his press conference. The Arsenal boss is keen to see the two compete for the same spot in his starting XI to help his squad rotation next season, but even so, he feels they can still play together at times.

“Yes [he will stay] — Thomas Partey is a super-important player for us and for me, and we want him to be in the team, that’s for sure. They can play together [he and Rice]. That was in my plans,” Mikel Arteta said.

“If you want to improve the squad and have more quality, we need players who can play together and need players in the same positions who have to fight for their places — it’s something we haven’t had in the last few years.”

Arsenal needs a quality squad to be better next season. Partey was one of his quality stars last season, and I bet you and I will agree it is better off if he stays. If Partey leaves, it won’t be about him not being quality because he still has what it takes to be helpful in Arsenal’s midfield, even for just one season.

Partey staying at Arsenal is a big win.

Sam P

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags Arteta Partey Rice


  1. The problem is Arsenal can only play with one inverted-fullback. If Partey, Timber and Tomiyasu play inverted-RB, Zinchenko, Tierney and Kiwior would have limited game time in the inverted-LB position

    Based on our pre-season games, we’d likely play with an inverted LB or RB in the first half and play with his counterpart in the second half. The guy worked harder than our other defenders and man-marked the opposition’s wingers tightly

    It was a good plan to confuse the oppositions, but we still haven’t solved our biggest problem in the final-third when playing against low-block teams with clinical attackers

    1. Gai,
      In the absence of Zichenko I think I would prefer Kiwior at LB. It will be steel and grit in our midfield if Rice and Pathey could play together or Rice and Joginho they will be unplayable. And then Timber at right back. Havertz from what I see can’t be box to box like Xhaka I think Odegard/Havertz would be best for play making attacking midfield. But the problem is Arteta would want to play his 65m player in starting first 11

  2. My formation for Partey and Rice is well documented

    A double pivot should be their role.





    Arsenal must not revert to square pegs in role holes , like playing Havertz as a defensive midfielder.

    1. Yeah with that formation we will win. The only problem, I don’t think any other team will accept that we play with 12 men.

    2. Why have you put Timber on the left?

      Why can’t you so called Arsenal fans keep things simple?

      Why does everything have to be over complicated?

      1. ANDRE/Panther
        As i understand it, Timber is equally at depth on both sides carrying out the ball and defensively sound.

        It would allow White to continue his role, while our team remains press resistant.

  3. Honest question

    Would you rather spend 175 million for Rice and Havertz
    Savic, Kudos, and Paulhina (Fulham) for 175 million?

    I like Rice, but not for 105 million. Personally I think we could have spent that 175 million more wisely to complete the team.

    Just curious what others think, and if they believe it was good value or could funds have been better spent.

    1. Savic and Paulinha will be 29 soon. Think long term! With those two, we’d be back in the market in a season or two! However, in Declan and havertz, if all goes well, we have those positions covered for 6 years. Soon that 105 will look like a bargain! We are still in for Kudus although nothing’s been agreed yet on the clubs’ side.

  4. I’m glad Partey is staying but I think we should sell him next season. We are in this endless loop of keeping players to long then making bery little off of sales and it needs to change.

    Liverpool were called crazy for selling Coutinho and Suarez but they invested properly and the rest is history.

    Gives us time to get another DM over the next year.

    1. What worries me about Partey is how he always runs out of steam or is always injured towards the end of the season.
      Arteta needs to find a way to keep him fit and healthy as this keeps on recurring.

      1. Partey was carrying the midfield no bloody wounder he ran out
        Of steam , putting Rice along side of him will sort that.
        Losing partly wound be be a backward step

        1. 👍 DP, you only had to see the improvement in Arsenal’s midfield, when Partey came on in the second half against Manchester United, to judge his importance. “Carrying the midfield” is totally correct.

  5. Arteta needs to stop treating Arsenal football club like his personal experiment.

    Rice and Partey should be playing in the same midfield; instead of Arteta wanting to play Havertz as a number 8.

    Havertz is not a box to box midfielder he should be playing as an attacking midfielder or not at all.

    1. And this is where the problem lies. We have Ode, ESR and Trossard that can all play there but because of the price Havertz will be in.

      I don’t think Havertz it bad and will likely improve but still an issue.

      1. PJ-SA, unfortunately Arsenal could have bought Vlahovic or Ivan Tony for about the same money as Havertz. Hopefully Arteta is successful in developing his personal project in rehabilitating Havertz at Arsenal; however this may be to the detriment of Arsenal’s other attacking midfielders/forward players you mention.

    2. I agree, Your spot on the mark. At least start the game with Rice and Party against the bigger clubs or more aggressive or dirty teams until the ref starts issuing yellow cards. Timber seems comfortable playing in midfield maybe as an alternative DM. Need a strong tall physical target man that can take a kicking and still hold on to the ball.

    3. I honestly don’t understand where your anger is coming from! I thought the exact reason for pre-season fixtures was for the manager to experiment with different tactics and different players? Isn’t this the best time to see if Rice Ode Havertz could work?

    4. Rice and partey with Odegaard should be the starting line up is going to be a solid mid field for us the rest should be a back up good luck gonners and should be given free role to operate into the middle for support with Jesus my take

  6. Start with partey and Rice against the bigger or more dirty teams like Manu, at least until the referee grows a pair and starts issuing yellow cards. Then after 15 minutes of the second half remove which ever one of them is not performing for a box to box midfielder like a douglas luiz or a Andre Trindade, unfortunately we have Kai Havertz or Jorginho. Maybe we will buy another defender and promote Jurrien Timber to Midfield, one of the only players that showed consistency. Missing a tall strong physical target man that can hold on to the ball whilst being kicked!

  7. Rice and partey would be great together if rice was played in xhaka’s role from last season. I’m not sure that rice is ready to play the DM role in our team yet – we’ll probably find out, but certainly not with two attackers (odegaard and havertz) in midfield with him (don’t think that would work for partey either). To get a midfield of havertz, odegaard and partey/rice to work, the two attackers will need to become highly conscientious defensively. Bernardo silva is the example – I think that’s what arteta wants from them, and probably from ESR and Vieira as well.

  8. @Gunsmoke, if partey and rice plays a midfield pivot then it’s safe to play a baller like zinchenko at either FB in an inverted format for dominant possession and slick play, we don’t have to consist of too many defence minded players in our line up.

  9. A lot of people don’t realise the newly adapted rule of 5 subs will change football from now on. Teams able to stay fresher, intense and aggressive for the whole match. Thus, creating a secondary team almost as equal to the primary team is essential and I think Arteta will utilise this tactic for this season. The Man Utd players in the first half got tired while ours continued still until 60th minute. Their level dropped massively but ours continued almost the same. Having 2 equal players in each position is more important now than ever.

  10. Balogun.

    Trossard. Havertz. Nelson.

    Smith-Rowe. Jorginho.

    Zinchenko. Kiwior. White. Tomiyasu.


  11. Ramsdale
    tomi Saliba Tierney
    RIce Partey
    Saka Odergaard, Havertz/Trossard Martinelli

    I would like to see a 3-2-4-1 played this season at some point.
    I think having rice and partey either can slip into the back 4 if needed.
    I also think playing both havertz or trossard and odergaard means we can play with 2 8’s or 2 10’s depending on how possesion and pressure is going during the game.
    I dont expect this is a formation we could play alot but against some opponents I think this could work well.
    This year is all about Arteta for me.
    He has had 2 full seasons to spar against all his opponents and learn each teams strengths and weaknesses and rather than sticking with his prefered line up all the time I believe he should have learnt enough about his opponents to be a bit unpredictable and change things up. esp with rotation of players but also formations.
    Looking forward to the new season just hope he can put all his ducks in order for it to be a great season.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors