Arsenal’s capture of Thomas Partey on deadline day is a statement of intent. If anyone still has any doubt, we will now look at what Partey adds to Arsenal midfield, comparing his stats from the beginning of 2019-20 season with those of Arsenal midfield players.
The Ghanaian has been brought in to add steel to a somewhat fragile midfield. He has won 241 duels and has as many recoveries in the middle of the park. Xhaka is closest to him but sits at 160 duels won, a whopping 33% lower. Xhaka’s number of recoveries at 208 is also a tad worse.
Furthermore, Partey stands supreme in terms of Tackles (76) and Interceptions (44). Dani Ceballos could only muster 50 tackles and, surprisingly, Xhaka only has 48 to his name. In ball recoveries, Xhaka and Ceballos stand at 27 and 26 respectively, which clearly shows the gulf in defensive abilities.
The fact that Partey’s attacking numbers are way better than Arsenal’s counterparts gives our midfield a fresh tactical edge. Our creative outlet Ceballos has 34 completed dribbles while Partey has 64. Partey’s 3 goals, although that’s not too many, still stand-out compared to a solitary goal by Xhaka.
In a sense, we have a complete midfielder in our ranks now. I can’t wait for the Premier League to return after the international break. Taking on City is never an easy task but, I’m excited to see this new look midfield in action.
Header Photo: Антон Зайцев, soccer.ru, 2018