Thursday May 14, 2020. 12:00
Renowned European football expert Graham Hunter has backed Thomas Partey to be a success at Arsenal – should the Ghanaian make the switch from Atletico Madrid in the offseason.
The 26-year-old Black Stars player has been strongly linked with a move away from Atleti, and the Premier League – specifically Arsenal – seems to be his most likely destination.
And Hunter believes that Partey could become a key man in the Gunners’ midfield, possibly even as influential as the great Patrick Vieira was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Partey speaks decent English, so that wouldn’t be an obstacle from him were he to go to the Premier League,” Hunter told Sky Sports.
“He’s still at an age where the pace and the physicality of the Premier League wouldn’t be beyond him.
“He’s not the quickest, but he’s an athlete that keeps going.
“I don’t imagine for a second that he grew up idolising Mikel Arteta, but because of the amount of English football that’s shown in Ghana, and because of the role that Arteta played as a midfielder in the Premier League, I’m sure Partey will feel he would be working for a coach who would be able to educate him still further in the arts of organising the centre of midfield.”
Hunter adds that Marcos Llorente’s development into a player who can hold in midfield may make them more amenable to selling Partey.
“Partey’s development under Simeone has been huge, and with Llorente there, Atletico need to consider whether they can afford to let their Ghanaian international go and gain financially from a deal to Arsenal. Without Llorente at the club, losing Partey would be significantly more testing for Atleti than it is right now,” he explained.