How Thomas Partey is crucial to Arsenal's title charge

Published on: 23 March 2023

Arsenal has mounted a surprising charge to the peak of the Premier League table this season. After failing to secure a top-four finish last season, Mikel Arteta's side has made themselves genuine title challengers this time around. A number of new signings have played huge parts in Arsenal's resurgence and some players that were already at the club have reached new-found levels, such as Thomas Partey.

Partey is vital to Arsenal's system

Partey is a vital piece of Arteta's system at Arsenal operating at the base of the midfield. He offers defensive cover for the back four as well as the ability to dictate the play from deep. Many have argued that Arsenal's season rests on the Ghanaian's fitness. Premier League online betting in Zambia ranks Arsenal as the favorites to secure the title at -120. Bwin offers leading odds on the English top flight as well as deposit bonuses and price boosts. Manchester City is offered at +100 to defend their Premier League crown. With the margins being very slim Partey's continued availability could be absolutely vital to Arsenal's potential success.

Partey is important to the Gunners mainly for his off-the-ball abilities and his passing range when in possession. However, he has also made an impact in front of the goal. In the stunning comeback victory against Bournemouth, the defensive midfielder got Arsenal's opening goal that sparked the fightback. His quality is most evident when he is not available in the starting lineup for Arteta's side. Arsenal faced Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in February with Partey being unavailable due to injury. The effects were clear as City thrived in transition due to the absence of a ball-winner in the midfield.

Jorginho was signed in January from Chelsea to provide cover and while he certainly does not lack playmaking abilities on the ball, he does not compare to Partey's qualities in terms of winning back possession and protecting the defense. City triumphed 3-1 on the occasion as they dominated proceedings and Arsenal made many mistakes. Pep Guardiola's side gained three points on their title rivals, and if Arsenal does not win the league that fixture will certainly be looked back on - Partey's absence will have been even more costly.

Similarities to midfield destroyers of the past

Partey offers a level of physicality and positional discipline in the midfield that Arsenal have lacked since their last title victory. Back in 2004, the great invincibles side boasted the likes of Patrick Vieira in the midfield who similarly offered defensive cover as well as the ability to support the attack and help the Gunners sustain pressure against low-block defenses. Ever since Arsenal has generally lacked a true destroyer in defensive midfield, having often preferred to deploy a midfield of technicians. A variety of profiles are required to win titles and physicality in the midfield is certainly a necessity.

Ultimately Partey offers the style of player that Arsenal has lacked for many years. He is a true defensive midfielder that allows Arsenal's more creative players to fully express themselves without being punished on the counterattack. Arsenal has not been champions of England for 19 years now, and precedence suggests that a player of Partey's profile gives them a great chance of putting an end to that run.