Thomas Partey, a capital player: The anchor and the departure of Atlético Madrid

Published on: 28 April 2020

Thomas Partey is essential for Simeone. The Ghanaian has been gaining prominence year after year since he returned to the club after his transfers to Mallorca and Almería (2013-14 and 2014-15) until settling at eleven in the last three seasons. The data underscores its importance for Cholo: it is the third player with the most minutes in the squad (2,859), second only to Saúl (3,420) and Oblak (3,366).

Yesterday the midfielder's father turned on all the alarms, stating that “he told me (Thomas) that they are having conversations between him and Arsenal. It all depends on the offer that Atlético demands (…) What they are discussing now is how Atlético will liberate him ”. Something that the soccer player's representation agency later denied, JJ Sports, with the approval of the player. “It is totally false that we are negotiating with Arsenal”. What is a fact is that the footballer has had a renewal offer for months to raise his salary and the 50 million of his clause, but has not yet decided to sign.

Thomas's farewell would mean for the second consecutive year the loss of the compass in the center of the Atletico field. If last summer it was Rodrigo Hernández who succumbed to the Premier League and the offer of Manchester City paying its clause, this must decide a Thomas who since the beginning of the course has won very important in the ball exit Atlético until becoming an irreplaceable player in the team.

After completing 50 games under Simeone in the season 2017-18 in a starting position (five goals) taking advantage of his extraordinary long shot, as he has gained experience and gallons has been settling on the double pivot and confirming itself as basic in distribution and recovery. Last season he started as a substitute, but he carved out a place for himself with Rodrigo, sending Saúl and Koke to the gangs and complimenting perfectly with the '14', who went down to receive and broke the first line so that Thomas appeared closer to the rival area. But with Rodrigo's departure, Thomas has mastered that space.

Currently fulfills the function of starting the mattress game, with great ability to break lines with his passes, although sometimes risking too much. He is the player with more good passes from the squad (1,535) and the maximum recuperator (271), followed in both areas by Saúl (1,424 and 240). But he also adds three goals and a basic role to give rhythm to the team's game. If Thomas is fast, Atlético accelerates his game, with the ability to distribute balls and change orientation when necessary. He is, along with Koke, the most important player in the beginning of the mattress possession, leaving Saúl a more physical and capital role in the intensity.

Without natural substitute

Yes Marcos Llorente it seemed that he came to the club to replace Rodrigo and compete for the pivot position, Simeone has found his ideal place on the right wing, something that exploded at Anfield in the last game before the break in the competition with his two key goals against Liverpool. Cholo prefers to release him from responsibilities in distribution and take advantage of his extraordinary physical power. Bruno Guimarães was marked in red on the agenda as a pivot for the future, but Atlético did not decide in time and when at the last minute they chose to exercise their scoring option before the offer of Olympique de Lyon, the Brazilian opted for the French club claiming that he had shown increased interest from day one.

A thomas departure would leave the Athletic again yesn its anchor in the middle and would force Simeone to reinvent himself again at the double pivot, a position where it takes time to fit in. The Ghanaian, who turns 27 in June, you are at the best moment of your career and after leaving the quarry he has matured to become untouchable in midfield. The rojiblanco team fights against the clock to avoid again suffering a flight of talent from their lower categories abroad, something that recently happened with Rodrigo (who after leaving his academy at Villarreal returned for just a year), Lucas and Theo Hernández and that could also happen with Riquelme in the near future.