Thomas Partey put on a passing masterclass for Ghana in their 5-1 win over Qatar in Turkey, proving he has the perfect qualities to flourish under Mikel Arteta. The Arsenal midfielder was at the top of his game for his country in the thrashing, meaning he arrives in north London full of confidence and raring to make an immediate impact in his new colours.
The 27-year-old has endured a frustrating start to the season after being benched by Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid amid doubts over his future.
Arteta is now ready to build his midfield around Partey following the last-gasp decision to activate his £45million release clause.
While he is renowned for his explosive energy as a box-to-box player, Partey’s performance last night for Ghana proves he possesses a superb range of passing.
He registered two assists and the first of which bodes well for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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Partey was first to react after Qatar cleared the danger and his quick thinking allowed Ghana to harvest another chance.
He picked up the ball on the edge of the box and threaded it through the eye of a needle to Andre Ayew, who finished well to give the Black Stars the lead.
It’s the kind of pass that Aubameyang will be looking for on a regular basis and the Arsenal captain will have no problems finishing inside the 18-yard box.
Partey has the vision and technique to pick his new striker out, even in half spaces and through tight gaps in the opposition defence.
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But his second assist of the evening will have wide man Nicolas Pepe licking his lips, as well as manager Arteta.
Dropping deep as a No 6, Partey took on the role of quarterback and played a long, raking pass that took out the whole of the Qatar defence.
The ball dropped at Samuel Owusu’s feet, following his run inside the full-back and he finished cooly to make the score 3-1.
With Pepe’s speed and direct approach, Partey can help bring the best from his fellow African, who is yet to take off in the Premier League for the Gunners.
The Ivorian is looking to build on his fine performance against Sheffield United before the international break, in which he scored.
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Arsenal have lacked somebody who can create chances from deep in midfield and now Thomas can get the party started.
At Lille, Pepe wreaked havoc with his runs inside from the touchline and Partey thrives off picking his forwards out from deep.
While he will bring a huge physical presence to Arsenal’s midfield, his passing ability remains criminally underrated.
Ghana went on to win 5-1 and were in total cruise control in the second half in what proved to be the perfect warm up for Partey ahead of his Arsenal debut.
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