Partey signing opens up ‘different systems’ for Arsenal boss

Thomas Partey will allow Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to play in different ways, according to former Premier League star Chris Sutton.

The Ghanaian joined the club from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day on Monday, with the North London side triggering his release clause of £45 Million.

Lucas Torreira moved in the opposite direction in a separate loan deal, having fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates, but Partey is expected to slot right in as a key player.

“I think the biggest thing when you sign a player he’s an upgrade on what Arsenal have,” Sutton told BBC’s Football Focus.

“He’ll be seen as an enforcer a defensive midfielder, but he’s better than that. He’s one he’ll always look forward with the pass and I think it gives Arteta the ability to play a number of different systems him coming in.”

Arsenal have opted to play with a back four once this season, in the win over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup, but it remains to be seen if the manager has long-term plans to change up the formation, although Partey is expected to bring much more protection to the defence from midfield.

I’m sure I’m not alone in anxiously awaiting just what he can bring to our side this season, whether in our current system or a new one, but I have no doubt that he will be a big improvement on our weakest area.

Will Partey see us revert to a back-four this season? Would a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 seem most likely given our squad options?


Tags Chris Sutton Thomas Partey


  1. Aubameyang,

    Saka, Willian, Pepe,

    Ceballos, Partey,

    Tierney, Gabriel, Luiz, Bellerin,


    This would be my preferred starting 11

    1. Pretty much my starting 11 as well S.J although when Martinelli is back I’d love to squeeze him in there some how!
      Love his passion!

    2. One thing I’ve learnt about Arteta is that he’s really keen on creating balance especially with regards to a player’s strong foot. It is why he went all out for a left footed Cb in Mari and later Gabriel when all of our Cbs were right footed. Having said that I don’t see fielding two left footed wingers i.e. Pepe and Saka. It is for this reason again that I think Xhaka will alaways be one of the first names on the team sheet whether fans like it or not. It creates balance in the middle of the park- he can spray his passes to the right to release the right wingback while his right footed partner(Partey) does the same for our left sided attackers. I believe Ceballos and Willian can be used in a more free role given their ability to press, track back and create chances while Elneny and Willock will be capable assets for rotational purposes.

  2. I find it rather weird, that because a so called pundit like Sutton has declared that the signing of Partey gives MA more options, has become an article.

    Isn’t that what nearly every Gooner was saying the minute it was officially announced that we had got our man?

    Jeez, just because they were professional players, doesn’t mean they are the brains of Britain regarding punditry does it?

      1. Agree 100% Declan, he certainly loves the sound of his own voice and is another one who can’t tolerate others with differing opinions.
        They’re everywhere mate and not just “football pundits!!!”

  3. Unpopular opinion: Partey will improve our creativity. I have realised most fans see Partey as this physically imposing player whose sole purpose is defending but imo he is more than that. Even though most statistical analysis of his game focus on his defensive strengths(at which he’s better than all our current midfielders),his offensive stats are also better than all our current midfielders (of course Özil isn’t included in this comparison).This can be attributed to his strengths in ball progression and retention(best dribbling success rate in Europe I believe).
    I believe he will be utilized in a box to box role á la Ramsey and not the Defensive Midfielder role into which most fans seem to have pigeonholed him; that role will most likely remain with Xhaka and Elneny.

  4. Well he Is best at box to box and can also fill in the defensive midfield if asked to. He has good defensive ability than any of our midfielder and can play right back if needed. I am happy we got him. Arsenal only need to ship out the unwanted and get Arteta his real targets. I believe in 2 season we will b in shape and challenging for titles. Can’t wait for that time

  5. Like I said before in another post. Making the top 4 would require the best team selection for every match, no sentiments. Slow and lesser quality players should perhaps only come from the bench in the second half. My best midfield combination and starting 11 for all formations would be:

    4-3-3 Formation







    4-2-3-1 Formation








    4-4-1-1 Formation








    4-4-2 Formation







    3-4-3 Formation







    3-4-1-2 Formation








    3-4-2-1 Formation





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