Thomas Partey must start the season as first choice ahead of Declan Rice

Why Mikel Arteta Should Choose Partey Over Rice at the Beginning of the Premier League Season

As Arsenal approach the start of the Premier League season, manager Mikel Arteta faces a crucial decision in the midfield department. The arrivals of Kai Havertz and Declan Rice have added depth and quality to the squad, but determining the best midfield combination remains a challenge.

While both players possess immense potential, it might be wiser for Arteta to opt for Thomas Partey over Rice at the beginning of the season to maintain continuity and ensure a smoother transition.

One key factor that favors Partey’s selection is his familiarity with Arsenal’s system. Having spent a few seasons with the Gunners, the Ghanaian midfielder has already established chemistry with his teammates and showcased his exceptional abilities on numerous occasions.

Despite facing some dips in form, the 30-year-old’s performances have been commendable, earning the trust of both fans and the coaching staff.

On the other hand, Rice is a new addition to the Gunners squad and will need time to adapt to Arteta’s tactics and playing style. Even though his hefty price tag might create expectations, it is vital to remember that a player’s worth should not solely determine their position in the starting lineup.

Arteta should prioritize selecting players based on their form, fitness, and how well they fit into the team’s tactical structure.

Furthermore, starting both Havertz and Rice in the midfield might not be ideal for Arsenal at this stage. Introducing two new players to the system simultaneously may disrupt the team’s cohesion, leading to potential challenges in understanding each other’s movements on the field. As Havertz takes up the vacancy left by Granit Xhaka’s departure, Arteta should focus on integrating Rice into the team gradually.

Thomas Partey’s impressive pre-season performances also reinforces his case for starting at the beginning of the campaign. His displays have demonstrated his readiness for the upcoming challenges, and his understanding of existing players should not be overlooked.

The former Atletico Madrid man’s ability to control the midfield and contribute both defensively and offensively makes him an essential asset for Arteta’s side.

In conclusion, while both Kai Havertz and Declan Rice bring immense talent and promise to the Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta should consider starting Thomas Partey at the beginning of the Premier League season. Partey’s familiarity with the team’s system, previous performances, and solid pre-season form make him a reliable and consistent choice.

It is crucial for the Gunners boss to prioritize team cohesion and integration, which is why gradually introducing Rice into the lineup might be more beneficial in the long run. With Partey leading the midfield, especially at the start of the season, Arsenal can maintain continuity and build a strong foundation for a successful campaign in the Premier League.

Writer – Yash Bisht

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Tags Partey Rice


    1. Yesterday they were played together and Rice was effectively pushed into a LB position which was very weird. He looked very uncomfortable and the whole formation didn’t work at all.

      1. A lot of fans have been screaming play them together but yesterday was a NO NO, infact a disaster waiting to happen.

        The space between Partey and Rice in the middle was massive ….and they got skewed to one side frequently (mostly the left side)’s a disaster waiting to happen .

  1. Yes please!

    I have seen enough in the last 2 matches to know that we will struggle immensely in the first few games if we try to shoehorn Dec into the starting lineup based on fans expectations only.

    Last season, we score a lot of early goals from fast breaks, and in the last 2 matches, Partey demonstrated his uncanny eyes for long searching passes that takes out 3 to 4 opponents in one go and launch our transitions from defense to an attack in an instant.

    Matter of fact, if you ask me, Jorginho benches Declan Rice. Its Partey, Jorginho and Declan Rice, in that order until Rice gets familiar with our game and put his great quality to display.

    Makes absolutely zero sense to start the first few matches with draws and hard fought wins and rack up nerves and injuries just so we could accommodate Rice who is set to be our engine room for the next decade anyway.

    No rush! What’s the rush?

  2. In our last pre-season match, Partey made us escape from the deep-midfield area as usual and Rice played well in Xhaka’s position

    Based on my observation, Monaco could launch counterattacks because Nketiah couldn’t hold the ball and Vieira wasn’t as strong/ fast as Saka. If Havertz can do hold-up play better than the small CFs, I think we won’t be as vulnerable anymore

    1. This may true GAI, but it still doesnt eliminate the nerves and the panic that an uncomfortable DR who is yet to settle will spread on the team. All it takes is one desperate lunge chasing down an opponent following an over the top ball, to shoot his season down to pieces and cause the team set backs.

      Let him soak in the Arsenal football culture from the bench for a few matches in actual PL games and then he can have his run.

      1. Maybe he can play in knockout competitions instead of EPL. He’d get to play in UCL games and Partey would play in EPL

    2. The played through our midfield several times like knife through butter because Rice and Partey didn’t work …

      The way am seeing this thing o,they might not be able to play effectively together.

  3. We will need both of them against City

    I would keep it that way for the league games.

    Keep Havertz on the bench and introduce him gradually

  4. It is either mind games by the gaffer as I hate to believe he’s still overthinking how to play the two midfield generals.

    Play the two together as a double pivot, with Partey at the base of midfield and Declan Rice slightly ahead on the left central midfield.

    Am inclined to think the gaffer is trying to hide his hand, in what must have been the most mouth watering deep laying formation existed at Arsenal since saltfish was use in the building of houses.

  5. I think a Rice Partey Havertz midfield would be an interesting option to consider, oodegard should get some bench time

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