Opinion: We need more than Thomas Partey in our midfield

Arsenal has been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey in this transfer window.

The Ghanaian is one of the most talented midfielders of his generation and some Arsenal fans seem to think that he will automatically become the player that takes us to new heights.

I think that his addition will be an amazing one and it can even make us a top-four team again, but our current midfield needs more than just him.

He is one hell of a box to box midfielder, but we also need a creative midfielder that will unlock defences for us.

Dani Ceballos has been the closest thing to such a player that we have had recently.

The Spaniard has returned to Real Madrid and will likely not return to the Emirates.

Mesut Ozil is another player that should fulfil this role, but the German is way past his best now.

We have some of the best attackers in the Premier League and their combination can fire us into the top four.

However, without good service from midfield, these attackers will struggle and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might also struggle for goals as well.

We have been linked with a move for a player like Philippe Coutinho and I think that the Brazilian is the type of player that we need, but if we cannot land him then we should find another creative midfielder to add to our team.

An article from Ime

Tags Thomas Partey


  1. I hate to say this but I don’t think we would be getting Partey unfortunately.. And I pray that Arsenal proves me wrong and sign him

  2. Despite our recent improvement – and indeed success – our mid field is light weight. I am very surprised Elneny is considered an answer. Let’s keep Torreira in front of the defence – he does buzz and he does win the ball.

  3. Our striking line and defence are as good as any top team in England.

    However our midfield is Championship level as I’ve been saying always….
    No box-to-box players and holding midfielders.

    I for one prefer Bakayoko (Chelsea) and Tonali (Brescia) to the likes of Partey and Ceballos. And they would cost around £50m – £60m combined.

    Then when we add M-Niles to them as a left-sided midfielder, then our midfield is complete.


    1. I’d be selling Bellerin and moving Maitland Niles to right back/wingback. He has shown the end of last season and in community shield he is a talent worth keeping and we could cash in on Bellerin to help fund a move for Aouar or Partey. Torriera is not the answer and Arteta favours Elneny over him right now. Mind you Elneny has looked pretty damn good the last two games. Having Partey play box to box and giving Aouar licence to get on the ball and push up the pitch having a player like Elneny who can just track the ball wouldn’t be such a bad move although I’d like two creative midfielders but we can win with ball movement and pressure…shit look at the teams we have taken down with a much lesser team. Arteta has this team playing as a unit we just need the anchor and the game breaker to really set us off.

    2. It’s hard because Bakayoko is s*** I’d pick Soumare and Partey then Niles at the RB & ofcourse that’s where he’s likely to play in England national team.

      1. Where Is the creativity there? What about the matches where we need a victory vs a team who wait for Is with 11 players on His side all the match?

  4. Well good news is Houssem Aouar while admitting Juventus is his final target, he’s considering Arsenal first.

    I have no issue with that, PEA’s endgame was Real Madrid and look how happy he is here with the right manager and environment.
    Question is can we afford to sign Partey and Aouar?
    Edu and Arteta loves Aouar.

    1. Eddie, while Aouar would be great, again he is a small player and Arsenal’s first priority I believe should be to beef up the midfield with a physically commanding box to box midfielder and a specialist DM. Partey and Diawara fit the bill. Doucoure, Soumare and many other options are out there. For example Atletico Madrid are looking at Marc Roca to replace Partey.
      Given Partey and Diawara to do the tackling and ball recovery for him, Mezut Ozil may recover his form as CAM, with Emile Smith-Rowe to fill in when Ozil is unavailable. Depending on the game plan, Xhaka, AMN, Willan and Elneny would also be available internally.

      1. We ain’t getting Aouar to come be a box to box player. That’s why we are chsdimg Partey.
        Aouar is the target to solve our creativity issues alongside Ceballos.
        Also, Ozil will never recover his form as CAM. This isn’t me throwing shots, this is me being honest and facing reality. Ozil is in the legal stage of decline, he has declined a lot, he’ll definitely turn up in a game or two but we can’t get back the player he was. That’s what declining does

          1. You think Willian is here to be a starter if Arteta gets his midfield targets? It’s delusional how people keeping comments like Willian will play midfield.
            Willian was brought in to come provide cover.
            Saka will be keeping his place, Willian will be good for game changing moments like if Pepe or Saka ain’t influencing the game enough.
            Willian will play more if Arteta doesn’t get his midfielders.
            He wants 3 midfielders, there’s a reason nearly half pur squad is up for sale

          2. To ‘Eddie The Great’ – the man who knows absolutely everything there is to know about the inner workings of Arsenal Football Club:

            Has Willian actually been told he won’t be a starter and that he is here just to provide cover? Is so, did this come from the manager or a member of the board?

            If it was in the media I must have missed it. Please provide a link or tell me where you learned this. Thanks.

          3. Nah man I ain’t gon play this game with you, wait till the season begins.

            Willian as a midfielder when we need actual midfielders, SMH

          4. @Eddie… I’m surprised with your comment. I have always respected your opinion.. But you of all people should know that William can play as a left winger, right winger and central attacking midfield. William is definitely a starter this season. I don’t know about the next….

    2. We can afford both but the question is will the owners spend it? The problem is the club needs to move players on as well and you can rest assured that the club is trying to maximise its return which will be holding sales up. The club just needs to cut players loose like Sokratis and chambers who are clearly not wanted anymore along with Mikhitarian. I think Elneny has played his way into the squad on the last couple of appearances and I’d be putting Lacazette, Bellerin and Torriera up for sale as there is interest for all three. PSG want Bellerin so I’d take that money and move Maitland Niles to right back. Lacazette has interest from Juve and Atletico if Atletico won’t do a swap deal for Partey then I’d sell him off to Juve and use the cash to fund paying Parteys release clause. Sell Torriera and throw whatever else we need to or offer Guendouzi to Lyon with serious cash and go get Aouar…he is a game changer that we need. Oh and sign Gabriel would be a great idea too…Classic Arsenal transfer window it looks like…sign nobody except for a player on a free then panic buy at deadline.

      1. Arsenal already made an offer of cash and Guendouzi for Aouar. It was rejected, it’s still about the money. Lyon want close to £50, his value went up after the UCL semis

    1. Because he thought Portugal was on the quarantine list but it isn’t.
      Regarding our midfield, Willian will play at 10 and I think Saka will also end up in midfield where he played most of yesterday rather than out wide.

      1. Apparently Eddie thinks Willian was bought as a cover up for the wingers.. against what MA has said that we know when he said he wants to use Willian as a no. 10.. Eddie is still yet to confirm where he got the news that Willian will play as a backup winger.. MA will do what is best for this team and I believe everything he has said and done but let us fans learn to support and not make outrageous claims like we know better.. I know what Willian can bring to this team and I can’t wait for him to get a run in.

        1. So apparently everybody believes Arteta wants to play 4-3-3 next season.
          Yet everybody thinks Willian will play CAM? CAM in a 4-3-3 formation??
          Is there any room for a CAM in a 4-3-3 formation?
          Arteta only admits Willian is good enough to play there and can be a creative player anywhere in the front three, I don’t know why you guys keep peddling rumours that Arteta said Willian will be our CAM.
          Saka can play CAM too, Arteta knows that, everyone of us know Saka is creative enough to play CAM but you don’t see Arteta playing Saka there do you?
          Going by all of your assumptions, you guys are saying if Arteta brings I’m Partey, Aouar and maybe Ceballos, that Willian will play CAM and not battle it out on the wings?
          Really? Arteta will get his midfielders and still bench one of them to accommodate Willian as CAM just because he admitted Willian is can be creative for us?
          Wow, just wow

          1. Eddie, for a very good well balanced midfield would be Aouar (CAM) Partey (box to box CAM) and as DM Diawara, Soumare or Roca. Would be great to see!

  5. Bakary Soumare and Ibrahim Diallo from brest( plays so similarly to Kante), Soumare is a driving box to box and gets loads of tackles in and would give us loads of energy, quicker player than Partey, real tiger attitude of a player,Diallo would be a bargain price, both 21 years old, both French, both combined would probably be around Partey price and package, and both a lot younger.Pinning to much hopes on Partey deal, fantastic player, even if he signed, would still need a player of these two quality.Let Soumare bomb forward.

  6. I think Elneny is a hell of a good player. Sinice Gilberto mentioned him I’ve been following him in Turkey. He has improved a lot since last at Arsenal. With Ceballos back and Willian plus AMN improving. We don’t Coutinho. There is also Saka, Nelson that’s ready. We should maybe go for one e of the young French gus, Samare or Sangare.

  7. If we buy all these players for midfield then what are we going to do with Joe Willock?

    The problem has been the tactic of using specialist defensive midfielder plus specialist creativeattacking midfielder plus a specialist box to box player is not the most efficient use of limited resources. Joe Willock is all three in one player
    Of all the otherplayers mentioned here only Aouar can perform in similar role
    My midfield three in a 4-3-3 would be Aouar Willock and Coutinho
    If we are going to use specialists it would be Souamore Maitland Niles and Coutinho. Partey is not a game changer.

    1. akan, Partey “not a game changer”? He is in the mould of Viera and would add the drive and physicality Arsenal have been missing. He would be a game changer, as far as avoiding being bullied.

  8. That’s exactly why we transfered Willian,his role will be playmaker,not winger.He played winger at Chelsea to accomodate Hazard.Not the case anymore,back to playmaker position as before in Shaktar Donesk team.

  9. If we do the maths,signing Partey is impossible now given Arsenal`s financial situation. He currently earns only 65,000 pounds weekly at Athletico Madrid, but is demanding over 200,000 pounds weekly from Arsenal. Ridiculously greedy, unreasonable. He is not Aubameyang. Partey is already 28 years old, and a four year contract, takes him to 32. Can Arsenal get a resale value for him at that age with his wages? No, Ozil is still to here . Do we keep repeating the same mistakes? Just a reminder. In going forward, Arsenal should invest asap in Houssem Aouar, who is creative and can provide assists to our strikers. He also scores goals and is very decent defensively. I would replace Torriera with Amadou Diawara as our defensive midfielder,as he would bring more physicality to the midfield. He better with the ball at his feet and with his height can win more aerial duels. Finally, Elneny needs to be given a lifeline. Based on the two games that he has played since his return, especially,against Liverpool , he has definitely improved in all aspects of his game. Elneny should not be sold, but given opportunities to prove his worth.

  10. Ozil is not past his prime. He can still produce at the highest level. Just let him play his game instead of asking him to press and play defense. That’s not who he is. A good midfielder needs the freedom to move around, find space and create space for others. Ozil should be a perfect mentor for Emile Smith Rowe.

    1. And just in case Ozil is not chosen then perhaps Willian could be a perfect mentor for Emile Smith Rowe.

    2. lcw, I would give Ozil a chance to play with Partey and Diawara, to do his tackling and ball winning for him. If he failed to produce playing with those two, then he truly is finished at this level.

  11. I hope that we sign someone who can do both, attacking and defending at the same time as we need a player with these qualities. Anyway, I believe that having MA can bring the best of any MD we have.

    I was looking forward to having Coutinho on our side but I can’t see it happening anymore, the only thing missing now is a playmaker I guess.

    1. Perhaps Willian, playing centrally, can be our main playmaker.

      MA talking about Willian:

      ‘. . . we had a clear intention to strengthen in the ATTACKING MIDFIELDER and the winger positions . . .’

  12. A tired Liverpool completely dominated the midfield in second half … if we don’t bring in quality Therethe strengthening at the back which will anyway take time to work out will won’t be enough to get us on to top 3 and top 4 will b a big ask …. that will have us up against 3 or 4 clubs for a Europa place again … surprised at arteta s attitude on this … he was a cultured midfielder and coming from city he should know this

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