Sometimes it’s easy to think that a player might be limited because of the system that they play in, but a change of scenery can suddenly bring out a new side of their game.
Thomas Partey tended to play in a more disciplined role at Atletico Madrid because Diego Simeone likes to keep things tight and his system demands that players are always thinking about defending first.
That did lead to suggestions that Thomas Partey could be a limited player and Arsenal might only use him in a holding role, but he’s starting to show that he can be a true all-round midfielder.
Mikel Arteta was asked about this in his press conference, and it’s clear that he hopes to see Partey become a creative force in the Arsenal midfield going forward:
Thomas Partey’s back with a bang! pic.twitter.com/67NtYVxdBi
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) January 18, 2021
That’s promising news for the fans and it’s also necessary when you consider that Arsenal have struggled for creativity at times this season, so Partey could be a genuine game-changer if he can open defences up on a regular basis.
It’s easy to forget that he arrived at Arsenal late in the window and he’s had a few injury issues so he’s still trying to settle into the team, so it will take time for him to properly adapt and carve out a clear role in the team.
His performance tonight showed that he can add some real quality to this Arsenal team and he should be a key player in the second half of the season.