3. Thomas Partey
From a double pivot of Mohammed Elneny and Dani Ceballos, Arsenal now have Declan Rice, Jorginho and Thomas Partey all fighting for the defensive midfield or left-central midfield slots. The club has coped well with injuries and inconsistencies. Although Rice’s form has led to fans largely forgetting about the positives of Partey, the latter’s cameo against Manchester City showed what has been missing.
The Ghanaian came off the bench. He immediately provided energy into the middle of the park but it was his quality on the ball that allowed Arsenal to open up a stout City defence. Picking the ball up in his own half, he drove forward. One beautiful ball over the top and a couple of knockdowns later saw Arsenal take the lead.
Partey’s unique blend of technique and physicality will be key as Arsenal look to prise open deep blocks. With timely rotation, his continued fitness would allow for fresh legs, especially needed in bigger games. His return gives Arteta quality and versatility in arguably the most crucial position of the team.
Arsenal have done well to manage injuries and rotation. Arteta has improved by leaps and bounds by using the entire squad. He must continue calling upon different players to manage a strenuous schedule. If he can rotate effectively and keep the team fit and firing, Arsenal have the potential to challenge for every single trophy this season.