ArsenalThe £ 140million summer transfer wave was a huge show of confidence in manager Mikel Arteta’s judgment, but it was also part of a bet that started much earlier. This latest recruitment campaign is the result of an investment pledge from Kroenke Sports Enterprises; it was their response to fan protests resulting from the club’s involvement in the failed European Super League project, which fueled long-standing resentment in their presidency of a gradual, but sustained, decline of the club. premier league status. The Kroenkes weren’t as parsimonious as some might claim.
While the team would undoubtedly have benefited from a larger budget, one of the key issues was a mixed return for the money they spent, most obviously the record spending of £ 72million for the club. Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
Then-manager Unai Emery later claimed he preferred to sign Crystal Palace‘s Wilfried Zaha, but various circumstances – including Smallwillingness to accept the costs in installments – led to the continuation of Grandpa instead of. And so when Arteta approached the Kroenkes directly to find the £ 45million needed to sign Thomas partey of Atletico Madrid barely a year later, they had a huge decision to make.
It was a straightforward deal given that Partey had a release clause, but Atletico demanded that the full amount be paid up front. Sources say Arsenal have been following Partey for several years, with former scout Francis Cagigao first identifying the midfielder in 2014 during a loan spell in another. The league side, Almeria. Although a possible transfer was briefly discussed in 2019, Emery believed the priorities were elsewhere in rebuilding the squad, but this time Arteta was adamant Partey would be the key part of his midfield, an area from the ground where Arsenal were usually weak.
While they knew the buyout clause could be triggered at any time, the Gunners only did so on the morning of the cutoff day after the Kroenkes agreed to Arteta’s recommendation, working with technical director Edu.
Injuries limited Partey’s impact in his debut season, and fears that the 2021-22 campaign would follow a similar frustrating path developed in August when he missed Arsenal’s opening three games with a ankle problem. All three ended in defeat. Since returning, the Gunners have won four, drew them and kept four clean sheets in the process across all competitions.
These days remain formative in the reconstruction of Arteta, but Partey’s contribution will undoubtedly be the most determining factor in determining its success.
There is a quiet determination about Partey who Arteta hopes will become the epitome of the “new Arsenal”. Sources told ESPN he had initial difficulties settling in London after leaving Madrid, and a stop-start season on the pitch made his transition more complicated. He suffered a thigh injury in November, a hip injury in December and January, and a hamstring problem in February. Sources told ESPN that Partey responded to each injury setback by deciding to undertake additional gym work in addition to his regular training schedule.
Partey has focused on legwork in particular, with an emphasis on strengthening his muscles to avoid repetitive injury, and considers the ankle problem he suffered in the preseason to be no more. only bad luck given that it came about as a result of an overzealous tackle from Ruben Loftus-cheek in friendly against Chelsea. However, sources claim that the midfielder also changed his diet. Although he’s not a vegan, Partey is committed to cutting back on the occasional junk food he allows himself.
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Although Partey enjoys entertaining his 159.9,000 subscribers on TikTok, unlike many of his teammates, he is not a gamer, but more interested in reading books and playing card games. Sources also claim that he has become particularly close to Eddie nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard.
Partey was born in the Ghana in the town of Odumase Krobo and the shared legacy is at the heart of his relationship with Nketiah, born in London to Ghanaian parents. Martinelli and Partey are often seen sharing jokes together, with sources claiming they hit it off almost immediately due to a similar sense of humor.
Partey admires Odegaard’s style of football, but more importantly, the couple have helped each other adjust to life in England. Both were from Madrid – Odegaard was on loan from real Madrid last season before finally signing a permanent contract worth up to £ 34million this summer – and the couple have discussed at length the differences between Spanish and English football. Neither have had much luck exploring London, but the easing of COVID-19 rules offers a bit more leeway in this regard and sources say Partey wants to know more about the city.
As always, football comes first. Partey only finished 90 minutes in the Premier League 10 times last season, depriving Arteta of the opportunity to fully integrate his midfield dynamo.
Partey provides the physical midfield presence that the Gunners have lacked for years, and he received his nickname “The Octopus” in Almeria “because I stole a lot of balls”. But his range of passing and ability to move forward with the ball give him the potential to be a complete midfielder. During the October international break, Partey was switched mid-game to a more attacking role against Zimbabwe in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier and quickly won the ball high up the field, before shooting with a right foot just inside the box for his 12th goal in 33 caps to turn the game in favor from Ghana.
His 13th goal came in the second leg three days later, sporting the captain’s armband while Andre Ayew was named among the substitutes, with a powerful free kick that saw Ghana secure a second consecutive victory, keeping them one point behind South Africa in their World Cup qualifying group with two games to go.
Granite XhakaArteta’s importance to Arteta remains high and the pair are clearly Arteta’s first choice pair in a 4-2-3-1 form, but it has long been suspected that the Arsenal manager wants to eventually move to 4. -3-3, especially to combat a lack of creativity in previous games against defensive-minded teams.
Partey’s positioning in 1-0 victory To Burnley September 18 therefore felt significant. Deployed as the only defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 form with Xhaka suspended, Partey balanced his defensive duties, including falling into the back line to help deal with Burnley’s aerial threat, while still allowing to Arteta to tighten Emile Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Grandpa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in its starting formation.
Other players have had an impact – Aaron Ramsdale replacement Bernd Leno in order to, Takehiro tomiyasuencouraging start to the right back and Gabrielback from injury – but it’s no coincidence that Partey’s comeback has seen a marked improvement in both performance and results. Next Monday’s clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace will give Partey a chance to prove he can become the midfield presence the Gunners have been missing since Patrick Vieira, the man who will be safe from the opposition .
“No Thomas, no Partey,” he said upon arriving at Arsenal, a sentiment on which Arteta has staked a considerable part of his reputation. “He’s really important because he’s the anchor,” Arteta said last month. “He is the one who has to read what is going on and who has to improve the rest.”