By James K. Attaglo Wilson

Ghanaian midfield metronome – Thomas Teye Partey received a standing ovation from Mikel Arteta having lightened up Arsenal’s working zone in their 2-1 win over Rapid Vienna in the 2020/21 Europa League on Thursday.

Partey, a new addition to Arteta’s midfield showed class especially in the second stanza having completed 102 touches, 90 percent pass rate, completed 4 of 5 long passes, winning 10 of 13 duels, while making five tackles.

“He looked really solid, really comfortable,” Arteta said of the Black Stars midfield priceless jewel.”

“He held the midfield by himself in the second half when we were a little bit more open and starting to take more chances attacking certain places with some players,” he noted

“He was fantastic tonight and there’s much more to come from him,” he added.

Thomas Partey marshalling Arsenal's midfield with tact
Thomas Partey marshalling Arsenal’s midfield with tact

Below is Thomas Partey’s full Arsenal debut stats against Rapid Vienna:

◎ Most passes completed in opp. half (50)

◎ Most tackles (5)

◎ Most aerials won (4)

= Most ball recoveries (8)

Snapped from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day for a fee believed to be around $59 million, most Arsenal supporters across the globe are expecting the 27-year-old Ghanaian to seize the Arsenal midfield and make it his own, but Mikel Arteta believes he needs his teammates around him to succeed.

“He needs his team-mates around him,” Arteta said.

“It’s not about him. We know that with the price we paid for him and the profile of the player that he is that he is going to have a lot of people looking at him every single game.

“This is about the structure we have as a team, the flow, the unity and the cohesion that we need in our team. He’s one piece of that. Hopefully he’s a big piece.”