3. Thomas Partey
Arsenal’s defence has been incredibly solid this season. The clean sheet against Manchester City was evidence of this solidity. The Gunners’ issues have come further up the pitch, with Arteta yet to deploy what many regard as his strongest midfield.
Among a rotating cast of midfield players, none have properly staked a claim to start (aside from Declan Rice). Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira have had their moments but have been largely underwhelming. Jorginho has performed well but Thomas Partey’s performance against City showed exactly what has been missing.
Much has been made of the added physicality the Ghanaian provides. Yet it was his progressive passing that caught the eye on Sunday. Picking the ball up almost alongside Ben White, he picked his head up before launching a pinpoint ball to Takehiro Tomiyasu. Two passes later and Arsenal scored. Despite one of the best midfielders at the club being out for much of the season so far, Arsenal have remained unbeaten in the league. Two more weeks to fully recover off the back of an eye-catching cameo will do Thomas Partey a world of good.
The Gunners have done well this season. Although they have gotten valuable points on the board, injuries have disrupted both performances and results. Getting crucial players back will only elevate Arsenal’s level.