Gilberto Silva singles out Arsenal ace who can 'make a difference' against Spurs

Gilberto Silva believes Thomas Partey is the player who is capable of ‘making a difference’ as Arsenal prepare to face Tottenham.

The north London derby is fast approaching with Tottenham travelling to the Emirates Stadium this afternoon as Arsenal aim to make it three wins on the bounce.

In comparison, Spurs have suffered back-to-back 3-0 league defeats ahead of Sunday’s clash with Nuno Espirito Santo yet to get the best from his side.

One area expected to be key in today’s battle will be in midfield and former Gunners star Silva says Ghana international Partey can have a huge say on the outcome of the game.

‘Everyone knows how important he can be for the team,’ Silva told Goal.

‘Having this calibre of player is always good for the players because they trust him, especially in that position where many things are decided.

‘I hope that he is going to be 100 per cent fit to play 90/95 minutes and help the team.

‘This is what we expect from big players. In this kind of game, they increase their level of quality to push others.

‘He is somebody who makes a difference on the field. This is what we expect from a player like Partey.’

Silva knows exactly what it’s like to play in a winning Arsenal team with a strong midfield having played alongside Patrick Vieira in the Gunners’ Invincibles campaign.

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But the Brazilian says in order to compare Partey and Vieira, the 28-year-old’s team-mates need to up their game to his level.

Asked if Partey is the closest Arsenal have come to having a midfielder of the quality of himself or Vieira, Gilberto added: ‘Obviously he has quality but it’s hard when you compare someone.

‘He has his type of game and me and Patrick had the way we played. The partnership between us worked fantastically and for you to play well, sometimes you need somebody on your side on the same level to raise your game.

‘At that time it was not only me and Patrick. We had players around us who gave us the support to increase the level of our games. This is the difference.

‘Partey is an important player, he has the possibility to grow even more. But it’s important that the other players come with him, improve their level, the way they play and build up this strong, winning mentality.’

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